Planning for the future could save your life as people who fail to plan their finances are more likely to die young, warns a new study.
Previous research has shown that many households struggle to prepare financially for old age.
However, few studies have explored whether forward-thinking financial decision-making is itself associated with lower risk of death.
For the new study, researchers analyzed 10 years’ worth of data relating to more than 11,000 British people and figures covering a 22-year period for more than 11,000 older people living in the United States.
Participants were asked to complete surveys that included questions about health, life expectancy, and how far into the future they planned their finances when making spending or saving decisions.
The research team found that people who planned their finances further into the future had a lower risk of dying during the study periods.
The association held true even after statistically accounting for other factors that could affect mortality risk, such as demographics, income, and self-reported life expectancy – which could inform financial planning decisions.
People who planned further into the future also had better self-reported health, according to the findings published in the journal PLOS One.
The research team said that association was strongest for the least financially advantaged participants.
They said that finding suggests that longer-term planning may be most beneficial for the health of people without the financial buffers for large or sudden expenses.
The team also noted that the findings do not confirm a cause-effect relationship and more research is needed.
Study co-author Professor Joe Gladstone, of the University of Colorado, Boulder, said: “Our study suggests that a lack of financial planning is not only bad for your wallet, but also for your health and longevity.”
He added: “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.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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