Finances are a source of incredible stress for many.
Not making enough money places a burden on providers. The stress of not being able to clothe, house, and provide can cripple a person.
On the other end of the spectrum, making more than $70,000 has been shown to ameliorate stress and gives people the power to live a more comfortable, stress-free life.
And while many people expect to make more with each passing year, which could lessen stress over time, new research demonstrates income volatility is at its highest levels since the 80s.
Not only does this not bode well for the economy…
The personal health of millions is in jeopardy because income volatility is exceptionally difficult to deal with on a personal level.
New studies indicated that a person’s income swinging wildly up and down could have catastrophic effects on a person’s well being.
Wildly Varied Income Could Harm You
The truth is many people’s security and comfort is tied up closely with the amount of money they make.
When a person’s income dances up and down, sometimes dipping below the poverty line, a person is prone to feel threatened. Because of this, evolutionary threat responses are activated and the body responds biologically to help deal with the prospect of tragedy.
This can lead to conditions that affect the health of the heart, the brain, the immune system and much more.
This is even true in young people.
A recent study was conducted to find see if volatility in income could be linked with any known health problems.
“[The researchers] They first studied income levels taken from five assessments in 1990–2005.
They defined income volatility as a percentage change from one income figure to the next. They also looked at income drop or an income decrease of 25 percent or more from the previous assessment figure.
They then tracked the number of people who experienced cardiovascular events — both fatal and non-fatal — or died of any cause in 2005–2015.
There were 106 cardiovascular events and 164 deaths. The team took into account factors such as pre-existing heart risk and sociodemographic background.
The results, now published in the journal Circulation, found that substantial fluctuations in personal income were associated with a higher risk of death and cardiovascular diseases in the decade following this income change.
The highest levels of income volatility were linked with almost double the risk of death and over double the risk of conditions such as strokes, heart failure, or heart attacks.”
Who Suffers Most?
One thing the study authors noted was that income volatility is generally seen in certain kinds of groups more than others.
In their observation African Americans, women, the unmarried along with the unemployed were subject to the most income volatility.
It’s also not abundantly clear why there’s an increase in cardiovascular incidents either. Theories are that an increase in alcohol use as a person becomes poorer could be a reason. Or, as a person becomes wealthier the opportunity to eat better and exercise more may be available to them as they enter into a new economic class.
Regardless of the causation, this observational study demonstrates why it’s a great idea for people to make savings goals and provide insurance for themselves to help protect against the loss of income.