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Researchers gave homeless people money and what they did with it might surprise you

A nonprofit organization led a study that explores what might happen if people who are homeless are given financial support and the results may surprise you.

Foundations for Social Change, a Canadian charitable organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia, teamed up with the University of British Columbia for a social program, called the New Leaf Project. Researchers gave 7,500 Canadian dollars (approximately $5,717.27) via direct transfer to 50 people who had recently become homeless. The people were free to use the money as they saw fit with no restrictions.

To the surprise of the researchers, most of the recipients used the cash to turn their lives around. “Preliminary results show that on average, those receiving the direct cash payment moved into stable housing faster, maintained a level of financial security and stability over 12 months of follow-up, and increased their spending on food, clothing and rent,” said Foundations for Social Change in a press release Tuesday.

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“By empowering individuals to meet their own needs and move into housing faster, the 50 cash transfer recipients freed up space in shelters and saved the shelter system $8,100 (Canadian dollars) per person over the course of the year (for a total savings of $405,000).”

The results fly in the face of what many of us believe about people who are homeless — that if given money, they will spend it on alcohol and drugs.

Dr. Jiaying Zhao, the principal investigator of the study and a professor at UBC, told TODAY that she hopes the study will change perspectives and influence government policies. Zhao said she was approached by Claire Williams, the CEO of Foundations for Social Change, in 2016 about the unique project that would focus on direct giving.

“I had been looking at poverty reduction for a while,” said Zhao. “We came up with this approach: if the money were unconditional, would it reduce homelessness in Vancouver?”

The study marked the first time a cash lump sum was used in such a manner. Zhao explained that the amount was chosen because it’s the total of an annual welfare check in Vancouver.

“That’s how we decided on the number,” she said. “We want to change policy going forward and get better support for people who enter homelessness.”

The study told the recipients it was up to them how to spend the cash.

“We followed the people for a year,” she said. “The results are surprising. I did not expect people could move out of the shelter that quickly. I didn’t expect the improvements in food security. These are encouraging results.”

Zhao said that when it comes to people who are homeless, the focus is often on stereotypes. “The common assumption is they’ll use it on alcohol and drugs,” she said. “And we actually saw a 49 percent reduction in spending in those areas. That was super encouraging to see.”

Even more exciting was that some

Money Worries Raise Suicide Risk in People With ADHD: Study | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter


MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There’s a link between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), financial stress and suicide risk, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data on ADHD and suicide in Sweden from 2002 to 2015, as well as credit and default data from a random sample of more than 189,000 Swedish adults for the same period.

Before age 30, people with ADHD had only a slightly higher demand for credit than others. But demand among people with ADHD continued to grow with age, while demand for credit fell among others.

“Because they are in financial distress, those with ADHD keep asking for more credit and not getting it,” said study co-author Itzhak Ben-David, a professor of finance at Ohio State University.

“The result is that their financial problems just keep getting worse and worse through adulthood,” he said in a university news release.

Adults with ADHD were more than four times more likely than the general population to have bank overdrafts, impounded property and unpaid alimony, educational support or road taxes. By age 40, their default risk peaked at more than six times that of the general population.

As in previous research, this study found that people with ADHD were more likely than others to die by suicide.

But it also found that adults with ADHD who were at the highest risk of default were about four times more likely to die of suicide than those with ADHD who were at low risk of default and people without ADHD who had poor credit.

Among men with ADHD, the frequency of unpaid debts increased significantly in the three years prior to suicide, according to findings published Sept. 30 in the journal Science Advances.

“There is more financial chaos in the lives of men with ADHD in the years immediately preceding suicide,” said study co-author Marieke Bos, deputy director of the Swedish House of Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics.

The findings highlight the significant role that financial problems play in suicide risk among people with ADHD, according to the researchers.

“Our modern life is built on paying bills on time and making rent and mortgage payments. These tasks are more difficult for people with ADHD and it takes a toll,” Ben-David said.

Co-author Theodore Beauchine, a professor of psychology at Ohio State, said more attention should be given to financial difficulties facing people with ADHD.

“The impulsivity found in ADHD is predisposing to suicide. And if you have a lifetime of financial problems, that can lead to a sense of hopelessness,” he said in the release. “Hopelessness combined with impulsivity is a really bad combination and may increase the risk of suicide.”

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on ADHD.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Study finds female doctors in the US work harder for less money

Female doctors get paid less than male doctors, but a new study disputes the common wisdom that it’s because they work less.

a person looking at the camera: Irregular and long menstrual cycles have been associated with a higher risk of major chronic diseases.

© Shutterstock
Irregular and long menstrual cycles have been associated with a higher risk of major chronic diseases.

In fact, female doctors spend more time with patients, order more tests and spend more time discussing preventive care than their male counterparts, a team of researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“That raises the question of whether we are paying for what we really care about in health care,” said Dr. Ishani Ganguli, an internal medicine specialist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who led the study team.

Ganguli and colleagues looked at billing and time data covering more than 24 million visits to primary care doctors in the US in 2017.

“We calculated that women were paid 87 cents to the dollar for every hour worked compared to their male colleagues,” Ganguli told CNN.

Female doctors spent an average of two minutes more per visit than men did. It doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up over time, Ganguli said. And they are not spending that time chit-chatting.

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“When you compare by visit, women actually did more during the visit,” said Ganguli, herself a primary care provider. “They put in more medical orders, they discussed more medical diagnoses and preventive care. They are spending more time per visit.”

Ganguli and her team did not sit in on visits, so they cannot say precisely what is going on. “We are using clues from billing information about what orders are put in, like for blood tests, or what diagnosis was talked about,” she said.

But other studies have indicated that patients and doctors alike prefer to spend more time in visits, and that patients do better, healthwise, when physicians spend more time with them.

“Per visit, after adjustment for primary care provider, patient and visit characteristics, female primary care providers generated equal revenue but spent 15.7% more time with a patient,” the team wrote.

“We know that all primary care doctors are strapped for time and that doctors and patients all want more time in visits,” Ganguli said.

“So it seems that female doctors are spending that time, but at a cost. Female doctors are responding to pressure from society to be kind and to pay attention and talk to patients. And male doctors are responding to pressure from society to churn through visits so they can make more money from those visits.”

Hannah Neprash, a health economist at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health who worked on the study, said the findings show the U.S. health system pays physicians using a flawed formula.

“Female physicians report the highest rates of burnout and our findings may help explain why. If longer visits contribute to feelings

With people living longer, advisors make sure you don’t outlive money

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Alfred Abraham has had colon cancer, prostate cancer, open heart surgery and his left eye removed.

Yet at 100, he’s still alive and well. Every day, he and his partner Brian eat fruit and salad and go for walks. He and his family were planning a big party to celebrate his becoming a centenarian this past April, but the pandemic wouldn’t allow for it. 

“At the present time, I’m doing very nicely despite what’s going on,” said Abraham, a former CPA and bank executive who lives in New York. 

One big part of why he’s doing so well is his financial advisor, he says.

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“He’s doing a very good job for me,” Abraham said. “We talk at least once or twice a month to discuss my investments and financial plans.” 

There were more than 450,000 centenarians in the world in 2015, a  number that is expected to balloon to more than 3.6 million by 2050.

Although life expectancy has actually decreased slightly over the last few years, due to a rise in drug overdoses, suicide rates and liver disease, it’s becoming more likely that people make it into their 80s, 90s and beyond. A 65-year-old woman today has a 50% chance of living to 85, and a 25% chance of crossing into her 90s, according to the Schwab Center for Financial Research. 

One of the biggest concerns investors have is outliving their money – and it’s often their financial advisors who work with them to make sure this fear doesn’t become a reality.

As a result, financial advisors are increasingly accounting for the real possibility that their clients could be around for very long time. That includes finding ways to stretch out their savings and to protect their money from the risks and expenses associated with old age.

Amy Irvine

Source: Amy Irvine

“When we’re planning for clients, we’re planning to 95 or 100,” said Amy Irvine, a certified financial planner at Rooted Planning Group in Corning, New York.

“Many of our retirees are still in great shape,” she said. “They’re living longer, and requiring resources for longer.”

Stretching out clients’ savings 

Carolyn McClanahan, a CFP and director of financial planning at Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Florida, said too many advisors don’t think about how long their clients could live. 

“If you have a client who lives a very healthy life, and especially if they have longevity in their family, you should be planning to age 100,” McClanahan said. 

And sometimes the planning needs to go in the opposite direction, she said. 

“If you have clients who are absolutely not taking care of themselves, say they’re obese and have diabetes and smoke, you shouldn’t be using age 100 because you’re going to make that person not enjoy their money because they’re worried about running out,” she said.