Financial Literacy Makes Your Old Age More Chill

You know the saying about money and how it can't buy you happiness. Knowing about money, however, can keep you in good spirits for the rest of your life. That's according to a new study that shows just how clearly knowledge is power.

Health economists at Hiroshima University surveyed both Americans and Japanese about their financial literacy and their general levels of anxiety. The researchers were especially interested in how worried respondents were about their lives after age 65. Largely, though, the questions were about financial basics, such as "basic calculation skills and understanding the pricing behavior of bonds," according to a press release.

The team found a connection: Those with greater financial literacy were less anxious about aging and money. It's an impressive correlation, given that 3 in 4 Americans report feeling anxious about old age. This isn't just a matter of knowing, though — the financially literate respondents acted on their knowledge, and were saving and investing in ways that would support them in the future.

Lead author Yoshihiko Kadoya considers this study to have macroeconomic effects as well. "If you have a high level of anxiety about the future, you tend to spend less and be more cautious about saving money, which negatively affects the national economy," he said in a press release. Which makes financial literacy not just good for you, but good for everyone around you.

Accumulating wealth, not to mention the very concept of retirement, may seem laughable to a lot of millennials right now. But both are possible, with structure, encouragement, and an openness to asking for help when you need it. Save yourself the headache, even if it's way down the line.