New Research Links Inadequate Financial Planning to Elevated Mortality Risk

by Liam O'Connor
Financial Planning Mortality Risk

Recent research reveals that older adults who practice long-term financial planning demonstrate a lower mortality risk, highlighting a potential correlation between proactive financial management and enhanced health outcomes, particularly for individuals of lower socioeconomic status.

This long-term financial strategizing may prove particularly beneficial for the health of those with constrained economic resources.

Individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds often experience shorter lifespans, influenced by various elements such as limited access to healthcare and the psychological effects of financial inequality.

Furthermore, prior studies show that many families struggle with financial planning for their later years. However, there has been scant research on whether proactive financial decision-making might correlate with reduced mortality risk.

Correlation Between Financial Planning and Risk of Death

To explore this possible correlation, researchers Gladstone and Hundtofte examined data over a 22-year span from 11,478 elderly US residents participating in the Health and Retirement Study and a decade’s worth of data from 11,298 UK participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Participants in both studies completed questionnaires covering health, expected lifespan, and their approach to financial planning in terms of spending or saving.

Observations: Financial Planning’s Impact on Health

The study found that those who engaged in longer-term financial planning faced a lower risk of death during the study. This link remained significant even after adjusting for other mortality risk factors like demographics, income, and perceived life expectancy, which could influence financial planning.

Additionally, individuals planning for the longer term reported better health, particularly those with less financial security. This suggests that extended financial planning might be most impactful for the health of those lacking financial reserves for significant or unexpected expenses.

The researchers also noted that their findings do not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship and that further research is necessary. Nevertheless, this study could contribute to strategies aimed at reducing health disparities among the elderly.

The authors state: “Our research indicates that neglecting financial planning can negatively affect not just your finances, but also your health and lifespan. By promoting a forward-looking mindset regarding future needs and aspirations, we might enhance individuals’ well-being and narrow health disparities.”

Reference: “Absence of financial planning as a predictor of higher mortality risk: Findings from cohort studies in the United Kingdom and United States” by Joe J. Gladstone and C. Sean Hundtofte, published on 27 September 2023 in PLOS ONE.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0290506

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Financial Planning Mortality Risk

How does financial planning affect mortality risk?

A recent study has found that older adults engaging in long-term financial planning are at a lower risk of death, indicating a link between proactive financial habits and better health outcomes, especially in those with lower socioeconomic status.

What factors influence the life expectancy of lower socioeconomic individuals?

Life expectancy in lower socioeconomic groups is often impacted by limited healthcare access and the psychological stress of economic disparity. These factors contribute to their reduced lifespan.

What does the new study reveal about financial planning and health?

The study reveals that individuals who plan their finances for the long term report better health and a lower risk of dying during the study period. This is particularly true for those with limited financial resources.

Are there any previous studies on financial planning and later life?

Yes, previous studies have shown that many families face challenges in financially planning for their later years, but there has been limited research on the impact of proactive financial decisions on mortality risk.

What methodology was used in the study linking financial planning and mortality risk?

Researchers Gladstone and Hundtofte analyzed data from 11,478 older individuals in the US and 11,298 in the UK, spanning over 22 and 10 years respectively, focusing on their health, life expectancy, and financial planning habits.

What are the key findings of the study on financial planning and health outcomes?

The study found that longer-term financial planning is associated with a lower risk of death and better self-reported health, especially among the least financially advantaged.

Does the study confirm a cause-effect relationship between financial planning and health?

No, the study does not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between financial planning and improved health or longevity, but it suggests a significant correlation, indicating the need for further research.

More about Financial Planning Mortality Risk

  • Health and Retirement Study
  • English Longitudinal Study of Ageing
  • Socioeconomic Status and Health
  • The Psychology of Economic Inequality
  • Long-Term Financial Planning
  • Mortality Risk Factors
  • Reducing Health Disparities in the Elderly

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Mike_J November 28, 2023 - 6:32 pm

Interesting study but i’m skeptical. How can they be sure its the financial planning itself that’s reducing mortality risk? Could be other factors like education or lifestyle that they’re not accounting for.

SarahBrown November 29, 2023 - 9:35 am

wow this is kinda eye opening? never thought that how we plan our money could literally be a matter of life and death especially for those struggling financially. really makes u think…

JaneDoe101 November 29, 2023 - 10:59 am

i read somewhere that stress from financial issues can take a toll on health. makes sense that better planning could lead to less stress and better health outcomes. still, more research would be good to really prove it.

RickyT November 29, 2023 - 4:34 pm

got to say, this is fascinating. i never put much stock into financial planning but maybe it’s time to start? if it can help me live longer, why not right haha.


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