Less capacity to spend on healthcare or the psychological repercussions of economic disparity are only a few of the potential underlying factors that might explain why people with lower socioeconomic status have shorter life expectancies.
Although previous studies have revealed that many households have difficulty saving money, especially for older people, few researchers have considered whether making financial decisions with the future in mind reduces mortality risk on its own.
Joe J. Gladstone and C. Sean Hundtofte examined data from 11,478 older Americans who participated in the Health and Retirement Study over 22 years and data from 11,298 UK participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing over 10 years.
Participants in both research were required to respond to questionnaires about their health, expected lifespan, and how far in advance they generally planned their money when making spending or saving decisions. The study's authors discovered that those who planned their money longer into the future were less likely to pass away.
This link persisted statistically even after other variables influencing mortality risk, such as demography, income, and self-reported life expectancy, which might affect financial planning choices, were considered. The connection between longer-term planning and improved self-reported health was also best for those less advantaged financially.
According to the researchers, this conclusion shows that individuals lacking financial reserves for significant or unexpected costs may benefit from longer-term planning the most for their health. They add that more research is required because these results do not prove a cause-and-effect connection.
Nevertheless, the findings of this study may contribute to attempts to close the gap in older people's health.
The team concludes: "Our study suggests that a lack of financial planning is not only bad for your wallet, but also for your health and longevity. By encouraging people to think more about their future needs and goals, we may be able to improve their well-being and reduce health disparities."