Money and mortality: Good financial planning linked to living longer

BOULDER, Colo. — Planning for the future might not only be beneficial for your bank account, but it could also extend your life, a new study explains.

Prior research has found that numerous households have difficulty preparing financially for their later years. Yet, there have been few studies into whether proactive financial planning correlates with a reduced risk of death.

In this study, researchers examined a decade’s worth of data from over 11,000 British individuals and information spanning 22 years for the same number of seniors in the United States. Participants responded to surveys probing their health, projected lifespan, and the extent to which they considered the future in their financial choices.

The findings reveal that those who consistently projected further ahead when planning their finances had a reduced likelihood of dying during the observed periods. This correlation remained consistent even when adjusting for potential influencers like demographics, income, and self-perceived life expectancy — which could influence financial strategies.

Furthermore, those with a more forward-looking financial approach reported better overall health.

Monthly budget planning
(© Kenishirotie –

Interestingly, the strongest correlation was observed among the financially less privileged. This suggests that long-term planning might be especially health-beneficial for individuals lacking substantial financial safety nets for unexpected expenses.

However, the researchers emphasize that these findings don’t definitively point to a cause-and-effect relationship, and further studies are required.

“Our study suggests that a lack of financial planning is not only bad for your wallet but also for your health and longevity,” says study co-author, Professor Joe Gladstone from the University of Colorado, in a media release. “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.”

The study is published in the journal PLoS ONE.

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South West News Service writer Stephen Beech contributed to this report.

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