How Does Wealth Affect Your Health?

Your wealth affects both your physical and mental health.

The relationship between wealth and health affects all of us. It affects you, me and every living person. That is not just the obvious people with little money to spend but also the more wealthy.

The affects on wealthy people are very different from those at the opposite end of the financial scale. People with money to spare enjoy the great benefits of being able to purchase good health care and live in ways that enhance their lives. They buy and consume the things others would like but are not able to purchase.

Most of us are not amongst the fortunate wealthy families so how does that affect us?

Child's piggy bank

Save to enjoy wealth

Very little of how the wealthy are affected by the benefits they enjoy is ever mentioned. It does not get covered much in magazines or television programs. On the other side a great amount of research and information is published daily about those living at the opposite end of the financial scale.

The wealth health relationship

There appears to be a relationship between wealth and health. People with greater financial wealth generally have better physical and mental health and live longer lives.

In terms of physical health researchers now refer to health capital alongside wealth capital. That is an interesting way to think of the relationship. Greater financial wealth often builds greater health capital. And greater health capital gives you the means by which to do more and enjoy more in life.

The European Economic Association produced a paper some years ago describing that relationship. It reported in both men and women aged sixty five there was a clear relationship between financial wealth and length of life. (Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 1, Issue 4, 1 June 2003, Pages 821–850)

The relationship goes further. It is not simply length of life that benefits. Everything that goes into life also benefits.

​Wealth and health are inseparable

What would you buy to eat if you could afford anything? Today you might buy convenience foods even knowing they are not really good for you. Perhaps they are high in salt, sugar and other components you would rather not consume.

Given a real choice would you continue to buy the same items? Or would you buy more of the fresh foods that cost more? Things like organic vegetables and fresh meat from a farmer’s market. Foods that require more money than many people can afford.

Heart rate graph

Healthy heart beat

For those with little financial wealth the problems start even before birth

Right from the start of life mothers have to balance wealth and health. Many cannot afford the healthy choices. Over time it takes its toll. Obesity and cancer are just two of the serious problems associated with low incomes. That often results in being unable to work and the income falls or ceases. But the problems go further. Obesity, for example, leads to heart disease and strokes for many low income people.

Hungry children do badly at school. They do not concentrate and are frequently classified as trouble makers. Children from mothers who could not afford to eat well often perform badly at school.

Quality of life for older people

It is not just children who suffer the lack of financial wealth. Low income older people at the end of their working lives often live below the poverty line. They become ill more frequently and find it harder to recover. A high proportion of people over eighty years of age are obese; the result of low income food choices.

Lack of money frequently results in a lack of exercise. It is well documented that lack of exercise is related to virtually all aspects of health including mental health. Low income people often fail to get sufficient exercise for many reasons including the inability to fund their choice of exercise. The wealthy tend to be fitter and slimmer.

Financial planning document

Planning is the foundation for success

Education and health

People with money can afford to be better educated even in places like the UK where education is, to a large extent, state funded. They choose to learn more and do so in environments that are better designed to aid learning.

Lower educated people then find they get employed in low wage jobs so their children are also caught in the same process; too little money for a better education.

Money worries frequently cause mental health problems. People worry about their situation and how they are going to meet their payments for essential items.

Wealth is important for health

Financial wealth affects everybody. Those with it enjoy the good things. Those without it suffer the bad things.

In the past it was not easy to find a solution. It still isn’t for many people but a growing number are discovering ways to become financially self-sufficient through opportunities that were not available only a few years ago. This website – Make Life Great – was started in order to show people like you and me just some of the opportunities available today for making a better income and a better life than our parents’ generation had.

Take a look at some of the things you could learn. Visit a few of the pages you will find here.

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