They say that "death and taxes" are unavoidable, but the irony is that accountants top the list of professionals with the longest life expectancy.
It's true, and in fact, accountants (and similar white-collar, middle-class professionals) can expect to outlive blue-collar workers by as much as eight years.
That means that a male accountant lives to an average age of 80, while a female accountant can expect to live to about 85 years of age.
So, why do certain professionals like accountants live longer than average? You could argue that most accountants aren’t big risk-takers, but the real secret is in autonomy. In other words, accountants generally have greater control over their jobs compared to other careers like manual laborers, police officers, and waitresses, and this increased control reduces stress and increases workplace happiness.
Accountants are actually less stressed
Even though Americans have a long history of hating taxes, the stress seems to not reach them a lot on the professional level, as accountants are generally healthier than average. The average salary for an accountant is over $67,000 a year, which also gives them greater freedom with lifestyle decisions.
Another theory is that because taxes are seasonal, accountants generally have more freedom throughout the majority of the year when it’s not tax season. Apparently all that stress in April isn’t so bad when you average it out with the other 11 months!
In fact, most accountants who I know look forward to a vacation when tax season ends, followed by a relatively lazy summer.
Maybe you can thank Saint Matthew?
If you’re a CPA, maybe you can thank the patron saint of accountants, Saint Matthew, for this increased longevity. While science tells us that autonomy is the secret to why accountants live longer, maybe St. Matthew just put in a good word with The Man Upstairs?
In any event, regardless of divine intervention, if you’re an accountant, be sure to build up that nest egg for retirement, because you'll probably need it for a long time!
Missy Woodruff is currently a Junior Staff Accountant, and enjoys blogging about tax deductions at MightyTaxes.com. She is happiest while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack while travelling with her family and dog, Zoe.