Here's why the rich live longer than the poor

By Michael Yardney | 19 Oct 2020

When it comes to being wealthy, research has found that if you’re rich you’re likely to live longer, too.

Now this isn’t because wealthier people have better or healthier genes.

What it means is that they live longer because they have the funds to invest in their health.

Plus, they tend to have a mindset that always considers the future.

What does the data say?

According to the OECD, the average person’s lifespan has risen almost everywhere in the world over the past few decades.

The average life expectancy has reached the late 70s or early 80s depending on where you live.

So, mostly everyone is living longer, thanks in part to better healthcare and a better understanding of nutrition.

However, research also shows that the richest 10 per cent of the population can expect to live the longest of them all.

In fact, from the age of 55, wealthy men and women who were born in 1940 may live an additional 35 years.

The result for the poorest 10 per cent however is about 25 years, depending on their gender.

That is a difference of 10 years depending on how wealthy you are, and this is statistically significant.

Why do the rich live longer?

One of the reasons that the rich live longer is that they have the funds available to invest in their health.

According to the OCED research, 90 per cent of the wealthy believe that their health is more important than their bank account.

And that means that they spend a fair chunk of their money on potentially life-extending activities like exercise, diet and health care.

Of course, this is in contrast to the poor, who are usually focused on just making ends meet from week to week, so are likely to do less exercise, eat less nutritionally balanced meals and are generally more stressed because of their low incomes.

Research has also found that the poorest women’s life expectancy is actually getting worse than the generation before them.

Women with incomes in the bottom 40 per cent, and who were born in 1940, can actually expect to live a shorter life than females who were born in 1920.

The reasons why this could be happening are too complex for the scope of this article, but they should be reason for concern.

Mindset matters

While the wealthy have the funds to improve their lifestyles, which in turn improves their chances of a longer life they generally also have a positive mindset.

Their positivity means that they often have less stress in their life ­– admittedly they don’t have to worry about money as much as the poor either.

However, they also tend to associate with other like-minded people, which keeps them upbeat.

Poor people, on the other hand, tend to associate with those who have a negative mindset.

Negativity can lead to stress, which can suppress your immune system and cause chronic disease.

They can also struggle to find solutions to problems, which further emphasises their negative mindset.

Of course, no one can become wealthy by mindset alone.

It takes dedication, hard work and perseverance in the face of set-backs.

What this research teaches us, though, is that once they have reached financial independence or freedom then they’re likely to have many more years ahead of them to enjoy their lives.

And that’s what everyone dreams of after all, isn’t it?

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Michael Yardney is CEO of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.


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