Money may not really buy happiness, but it certainly buys you something much more crucial.
New research released Friday by economists at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., reveals something stark about wealth and the impact it has on our lives.
Although wealthy people live easy and long lives due to the availability of more resources, the study shows that the gap between the rich and the poor has significantly increased.
Men and women in the top 10 percent earners live much longer than those in the bottom 10 percent. Sometimes, the difference in life expectancy in the income groups can go up to around 14 years or more.
Read: The Rich Are Getting Richer As American Middle Class Melts Away: Study
It is thus evident that countries with higher income brackets and wealth have higher life expectancy rates, as compared to poorer, under developed countries. Consider Nigeria, which has an average life expectancy of 50 years, compared to Switzerland with 83 years.
Researchers have not yet been able to put a finger on the exact reasons why people with more money end up living loner, but it is suspected that easier lives, more lavish lifestyles and being able to afford health care plays a significant role.
Sadly, the income gap between Americans is widening and there is hardly a middle class left anymore, which could mean a large population of people will die at a fairly early age while the rich will live on for many years more.
So even though making another $20,000 will not get you five more years of life, it can help ward off a disease, heal an injury or keep you more socially connected which in turn will let you live a year or two longer.