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Gen Z, Millennials Hit Hardest by Health-Care Costs

The rising cost of health care isn’t just a burden on older folks in the workforce, it’s impacting the financial well-being of Millennials and Generation Z as well.

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This is according to research from Lively, which found that the majority of Gen Zers and Millennials have cut back spending on wellness activities due to health-care costs, including decreased spending on hobbies (42%) and putting off or canceling vacation plans (31%). They’re also not able to afford preventative care (63%) and are being forced to forego retirement savings (29%) and debt repayment (31%). This data shows health-care costs are preventing financial independence for even the healthiest populations.

“The reality is that health care in retirement costs ($369,000 per couple) more than the average price of a home ($231,000) in America today,” said Shobin Uralil, COO and co-founder of Lively. “The data shows that young people aren’t as financially independent as their parents may have been — homeownership is down and middle-class life is harder to attain. While buying a home is not essential to success, being able to take care of yourself throughout your life is. You may be stuck in a cycle of savings for future finances, while health-care costs continue to increase.”

Other key findings from the research include:

  • More than half (52%) of adults have had to prevent or delay important financial milestones as a result of health-care costs.
  • Saving for retirement (25%), going on vacation (24%) and paying down debt (23%) all take a backseat to health-care costs.
  • Gen Z is the most likely group to put off going to the doctor (59%) or only go when something catastrophic happens (38%).
  • Nearly 50% of Americans are not prepared to incur the costs of their own unexpected injury and/or serious or chronic illness.
  • Over half of adults surveyed (56%) are unprepared to care for a sick or aging parent.
    • Women are more likely to feel unprepared to care for a sick parent than men (62% vs. 50%).