The rich live longer

The rich live longer
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They say money can't buy you happiness, but it might give you a few more years on the planet.

New research has revealed a positive correlation between wealth and life expectancy. So could paying off your home loan and making wise investment choices give you a richer — and longer — life?

Your income dictates your lifespan

A study published in the Wall Street Journal has revealed a striking trend between the amount of money you earn and the length of your life. Basically, the richer you are – the longer you will live.

Barry Bosworth, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow for Economic Studies, recently delved into the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study to pick apart new life expectancy trends. The trend showed the life expectancy of the wealthy in America is growing at a much faster pace than the life expectancy of the poor.

"[R]esearch on trends in mortality has established a strong relationship between individuals' life expectancy and various measures of socioeconomic status, including income, [while] recent studies conclude that life expectancy is rising more rapidly for individuals in the upper portions of the earnings distribution," Bosworth wrote.

Since 1992, the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study has steadily collected from a representative sample of Americans. Every two years, 26,000 individuals over 50 years old are surveyed. Bosworth compared the life expectancy of men and women born in 1940 in comparison to those born in 1920 to calculate the additional years they can expect to live past 55-years-old. His research found;  

A 55-year-old man born in 1940 who is in the richest 10 percent will live an addition 34.9 years, while a man in the poorest 10 percent will live an additional 22.6 years. For women, the figures were an additional 35.3 years and 25.8 years, respectively.

So what’s happening a bit closer to home?

Global AgeWatch Index 2014 launches

There are many challenges ahead for policy analysts, legislatures, businesses and everyday Australians. One is the ageing population, which will affect housing availability, the healthcare system and more.

HelpAge International launched the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 on October 1, and Australia has performed incredibly well.

Of the 96 evaluated countries, Australia has earned a place of 13. The nation has a "high rate of education attainment among older people", with a figure of 92.4 percent. With regards to health, it also rated highly.

Wellbeing was evaluated across "enabling environment", "health", "income security" and "personal capability".

Preparing for retirement

Saving for retirement is essential if Australians are to enjoy their golden years. From compulsory employer contributions to personal concessional contributions, there are plenty of ways to prepare.

However, according to HelpAge International, income and pension issues should be a cause for concern.

"Australia has the lowest ranking (61) in its region for the income security domain, and the highest old age poverty rate in the region (35.5 percent). It also has below-average pension income coverage (83 percent) and relative welfare rates (65 percent) compared to other countries in the region," HelpAge International stated.

These findings could suggest the importance of Australians looking closely at their retirement plans and making sure they're appropriately set up for their older years.

The top performing country on the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 is Norway, while the worst was Afghanistan.

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