A new study has found that saving up for your retirement may make you healthier in addition to wealthier.
According to a July 13 USA Today article, the study, conducted by Lamar Pierce, an associate professor at Washington University, and doctoral candidate Timothy Gubler found that people who actively save money toward their retirement are also more likely to take care of themselves and their well-being.
The reason behind this is a phenomena called time discounting, USA Today reports, which is an individual’s affinity toward smaller, immediate rewards over long-term goals and desired results.
Because people who allot money toward their retirement are the type of people to value long-term goals in the future, which means they are more likely to improve their health after receiving news of high blood pressure or cholesterol. This correlation was proven in the study, titled “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: Retirement Planning Predicts Employee Health Improvements.”
“There is a definite correlation that we see with people who take care of their health and who are great investors and savers, the reason being is that they both take patience and discipline,” says Craig Slayen of Winship Wealth Partners. “Eating well and exercising on a consistent basis take discipline. Those who can implement healthy habits on a daily basis usually have the discipline to implement prudent investment strategies over time.”
Other experts suggest that the correlation between retirement saving and good health comes from a personality trait unrelated to time discounting.
“Another explanation is that those who save and take care of their health are high on the personality trait of conscientiousness,” Talya Miron-Shatz, an associate professor at the Ono Academic College in Kiryat Ono, Israel, told USA Today. “When narrowing down personality to the ‘Big Five,’ the main traits that determine who you are and how you behave, it’s the people high in conscientiousness who are tidy, don’t skip school, take their medication on time and avoid temptation in other ways, including not spending when they feel like it.”
So when it comes to your financial and physical well-being, make sure you take steps to achieve long-term success.