There is a lot of attention put on the mantra of being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. But beyond your health, how else could a person’s life be impacted due to a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle? According to a new study, health and debt are negatively correlated. That is, the worse a person’s health, the higher the chance of debt and bankruptcy. There are a few reasons for this, as concluded by the study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

As far as earning potential, healthy people on average make 28% more in their lifetime compared to unhealthy people over their lifetime. To put a number to a person, the average healthy 65-year-old with high school degree has $230,000 in wealth compared to $120,000 for an unhealthy 65-year-old with a high school degree. Also, the study showed that unhealthy people work less. Participation in the labor supply among the healthy is at 90% while participation for unhealthy people is 70%.

This is because it can be more challenging for unhealthy people to keep and hold a job. Also, medical debt is a reality as costs of healthcare set in. Oftentimes, an unhealthy person’s ability to save for retirement is more challenging leaving people penniless at a time in their life when they may be dependent on retirement savings. To make it worse, healthcare costs continue to steadily rise.

Sometime people do not have a choice in their health as they are born with a condition or suffer from an injury that makes them unhealthy. In other instances, poor lifestyle choices are to blame. Whatever the reason, you may be at risk for financial strain if you or a loved one is unhealthy. Bankruptcy can give those suffering under medical debt a fresh start.

Source: nypost.com, “Here’s how much being unhealthy will cost you,” Kari Paul, October 30, 2017