Financial stress seems inevitable. After all, there are utility bills, credit card bills and college tuition to worry about. There are student loans and mortgages to repay. There are retirement accounts that need to be fed, and medical bills to handle.
But stress caused by financial insecurity isn’t something to take lightly. In fact, financial stress may be partially responsible for shortening U.S. life spans, which decreased in 2015 for the first time in more than 20 years, says Mark Rank, professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School.
“The argument can be made that over time, economic insecurity has really been rising for a number of reasons,” Rank says. “There seems to be a connection between that and the falling of life expectancy.”
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