This Is How Much Money Your Poor Health Is Costing You Each Year

The difference really adds up over time.

healthDean Drobot

Although it’s not always the case, on the whole, organic foods are more expensive than their conventional counterparts. This price disparity might lead one to believe that opting out of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and recliner diet/workout plan may end up hurting your wallet in the long run. But according to a new study reported by Men’s Health, picking the healthy path might really help you in the long run, to the tune of 150,000 bucks. (Throw in this easy $40,000 savings hack in alongside your healthy habits and you’ll be golden.)

A new report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research examined the correlation between overall health and financial well being using a study group of 958 working-aged men. Each participant was asked to report their health on a scale of 1 to 5, with the 1-2 range being considered “poor health.”

The study found that, on average, a participant’s health had a positive link to their overall financial status. For example, participants who spent 16 to 20 years in the 1-2 range saw an annual loss of $4,000 annually, while participants who spent 1-5 years in the same range saw an average of $1,000 lost annually. The researchers posit that unhealthy people tend to accumulate less wealth than healthy people, a concept they label the “wealth-health gradient.”

Now, back to that $150,000 number. When the study was seen through until the age of 65, the disparity in money losses between healthy participants and unhealthy participants was stark: the average unhealthy participant had a net loss of $150,000. Now, to the factors; what exactly played a part in this huge financial gap?

“People in bad health work less, earn less, face higher medical expenses, die earlier, and accumulate much less wealth compared to those in good health,” the paper states. “The largest component of these costs being the loss in labor earnings.”

Fortunately, staying in a state of poor health was not the norm in the study; 72 percent of men in the study had experienced less than five years of poor health throughout the study.  The study also reconfirmed the notion that activity does increase life expectancy. (This one type of workout is particularly effective at keeping men fit forever.)

[Source: Men’s Health]

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