Gen Z, Millennials Hit Hardest By Healthcare Costs

New survey from Lively, Inc. reveals Americans under 35 unable to save for retirement, pay down debt, or buy a house

New survey from Lively, Inc. reveals Americans under 35 unable to save for retirement, pay down debt, or buy a house (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Healthcare costs leave young adults unable to take care of themselves today AND prepare for health and financial needs tomorrow. Lively finds the majority of Gen Zers and Millennials have cut back spending on wellness activities due to healthcare costs, including decreased spending on hobbies (42 percent) and putting off or canceling vacation plans (31 percent). They’re also not able to afford preventative care (63 percent) and are being forced to forego retirement savings (29 percent) and debt repayment (31 percent). This data shows healthcare costs are preventing financial independence for even the healthiest populations, and making it impossible to prepare for the enormous cost of healthcare in retirement.

Lively today released the second part of the company’s inaugural Wellness & Wealth: Consumer Insights study that shows Gen Z and Millennials are the generations hit hardest by rising healthcare costs despite being the healthiest. The data shows healthcare costs prevent financial independence for Millennials and Gen Z. Conducted by CITE on Lively’s behalf, the survey sheds light on the everyday financial sacrifices forced on Americans due to rising health-related expenses.

“The reality is that healthcare 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 healthcare costs continue to increase.”

Key findings of the Wellness & Wealth: Consumer Insights Report show:

Constant sacrifice: Healthcare costs prevent financial independence and inhibit retirement savings.

  • More than half (52 percent) of adults have had to prevent or delay important financial milestones as a result of healthcare costs.
  • Saving for retirement (25 percent), going on vacation (24 percent) and paying down debt (23 percent) all take a backseat to healthcare costs.
  • Nearly eighty percent of Americans agree that rising health costs make it difficult to save for retirement and prevent financial independence.

Caught in the middle: Young adults can’t save for now or later.

  • The majority of Gen Zers have cut back spending on activities due to healthcare costs, including decreased “fun” spending and/or hobbies (50 percent), delayed vacation plans (38 percent), and paying down debt (31 percent).
  • Gen Z is the most likely group to put off going to the doctor (59 percent) or only go with something catastrophic happens (38 percent).
  • Two out of every three Gen Zers (63 percent) have avoided a doctor’s recommendation due to cost.

Families in jeopardy: Americans not ready to cover unexpected healthcare costs for themselves, much less others.

  • Nearly 50 percent 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 percent) 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 percent).

“Though this data is bleak, consumers can take their lives back and get on track for a healthy and relaxing retirement through wise and consistent savings,” says Uralil.

For strategies consumers can use to help prepare for future financial success, as well as additional findings from the Wellness & Wealth: Consumer Insights Report, please visit

Complete findings of the survey are available upon request.


A survey of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. Adults (ages 18 and older) was conducted from June 5-6, 2019 to gauge physical and financial health decisions across the U.S. Respondents were asked ten questions about their personal finances and knowledge as they pertain to healthcare, health practices, ability to pay for health-related expenses, and insurance coverage. The survey was commissioned by Lively and executed by CITE Research, and is part one of a series of findings about employee wellness and wealth. Part two of the results will be released later this year.

About Lively, Inc.

Lively is a modern Health Savings Account (HSA) platform for employers and individuals. Lively’s user-centric solution creates an intuitive user experience allowing consumers to get the most out of their HSA. Lively HSAs work alongside HSA compatible plans to make healthcare easier for everyone. Lively was started to help consumers optimize their healthcare spending, maximize their savings, and better their livelihood. Lively is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information please visit or follow us on Twitter (@LivelyHSA). If you need help getting started, review our detailed and comprehensive HSA Guide.


Jennifer Parson



Jennifer Parson