PEOPLE LOVE to throw around the saying “money can’t buy you happiness,” even though most of us are positive we would actually be a little happier with more money. Whether or not that’s actually true, we do now know that money can help us buy a longer life.
A recent study found that people who earn more are more likely to live longer, which isn’t a total shocker. More money means more access to basic needs, better-quality healthcare (in many countries, shamefully), and potentially less stress when you’re doing the life thing right. Unsurprisingly, this gap of life expectancy between the rich and the poor has continued to widen since 2000.
This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and gathered its information from the Social Security Administration. Basically, they checked out those two good old certainties: death and taxes.
The information clearly showed that people with more money outlived the poor, and that rich women lived the longest of all.
One reason for this is attributed to the fact that healthcare continues to increase in price. Over the past ten years, the cost of healthcare has gone up 38 percent, and hospital fees in particular have gone up 71 percent. Even taking into account inflation and other finance changes, the costs of healthcare still increased way more than, say, wages did. Those percentages are quite a hike, and the more expensive healthcare gets, the fewer people the people who will have access to it.
Additionally, the study also found that people in lower income brackets had a better chance of a longer life if they lived in high-income cities. The top ten in order were: New York, Santa Barbara, San Jose, Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Newark, and Port St. Lucie. (Maybe all that matter is just being near the beach?) The opposite was also true: low earners living in low-earning cities had the lowest life expectancies.
An interesting thing to consider here is that women still make less money than men but tend to outlive them anyway. If the gender wage gap closes, it’s possible that women will start to outlive men by even greater amounts. As long as we’re living in the high-income cities, that is.