Wealthy people enjoy longer lives than their less fortunate peers — even among twins and siblings. A new study published Friday in JAMA Health Forum found that wealth among middle-aged individuals is directly associated with longevity.
The researchers tracked 5,414 men and women for 24 years and discovered that being financially comfortable trumps early environment and heredity. According to Axios, even among twins, greater net worth correlated with a greater chance of survival in later years. At the same time, financial experts report that the economic gap between the wealthy and low-income Americans is widening, which could directly impact our nation’s health.
“Policies that support individuals’ ability to accrue wealth and achieve financial security could have considerable health benefits,” wrote the authors. “In addition, policies to reduce the wealth gap may generate substantial returns to public health.”
Interesting, the pandemic era policies increased the number of ultrawealthy people in the world by a whopping 23.9%, the highest figure of increase since 2003. The Credit Suisse global wealth report released in June said that the “lowering of interest rates by central banks probably had the greatest impact.”
Experts say that the reason rich people live longer is that they have the funds and the willingness to invest in their health. They also tend to plan for the future. Research shows that the richest 10 percent of the population can expect to live the longest. A man who is age 55 and whose income is in the top 10% can expect to live an additional 34.9 years. On the flip side, men whose income is in the lowest 10% bracket can expect to live only another 24 years.
The research, conducted by economist Barry Bosworth at the Brookings Institution, found that women who are 55 years of age and in the top 10% income bracket enjoy an average of 35.3 more years, while those in the poorest 10% income may live 25.8 years more.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 90% of the wealthy believe that their health is more important than their money. They are willing to spend a good portion of their bank account on investing in exercise, diet, and healthcare.
The poor are less likely to eat nutritionally balanced meals and take part in sports and other physical activity. They are generally more stressed because of money worries. By contrast, wealthy people usually have a more positive attitude because they have the funds to take care of themselves.
Rich people also tend to associate with likeminded people, which lifts their spirits, boosts their immune system and reduces the risk for chronic diseases, says the OECD. Negativity and stress tend to exacerbate health issues.
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