While many of us don’t often think about life expectancy as a personal finance or economic issue, the two are closely linked. For example, depending on how long someone expects to live, he or she can calculate how much money they need to save for retirement. And a new report from the New York Times proves that a person’s lifespan is determined partly by how much money they have.

Not only does the gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor exist, it’s actually growing quite quickly. A combination of factors, ranging from access to quality care, consumption habits, smoking and drugs are to blame. But the larger issues of inequality must be solved before one can address each of these smaller factors.

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