Being rich means you will enjoy a longer and healthier life
Those with more wealth and better education are less likely to develop illness and tend to die later than those who are poorer and less well-educated.
The study, for the Economic and Social Research Council, also found that those who get the choice of early retirement are also more likely to enjoy a longer life. Those with less education and money are more likely to say they are depressed or to suffer from illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity, according to the study.
Based on a series of surveys of 12,000 older people, the effect can be seen most sharply for those in their 50s and 60s although it persists as people reach retirement age.
Professor James Nazroo, from Manchester University, who carried out the study, said: ‘These findings have implications for us all. Increases in life expectancy raise major challenges for public policy.
‘Among these is the need to respond to marked inequalities in economic position and life expectancy at older ages.’
The study comes as a report from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research claims Britons will have to work until the age of 70 if the Government is to stand any hope of bringing public debt under control over the next decade.