Gen Z bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis, FSC research reveals

2 min read
September 28, 2023

The latest FSC research report reveals that Gen Z and millennials are bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis. 

The report, titled Money and You: Young People and the Cost of Living Crisis, found that of all age groups, those respondents in the Gen Z and millennial brackets had lower levels of financial wellbeing, literacy and confidence.

“We know from our annual Financial Resilience Index research that there is a significant correlation between finances and our overall health and wellbeing,” said FSC CEO Richard Klipin.

“What we’ve found in this latest research is that financial issues are hitting some groups of us harder than others, and it appears our younger people are facing the full force of the current economic situation.”

FSC Strategic Research Committee Chair Trish Oakley commented that we need to do more to support our young people.

“Our young people are the future of Aotearoa, and they’re struggling right now. As an industry we need to continue our efforts alongside other stakeholders to support them with financial decisions that they feel less confident making – things like choosing an insurance policy, selecting investments and planning for retirement.”

“There are some positive findings from the report as well,” says Richard Klipin.

“The majority of Gen Zers and millennials (72%) are confident making decisions about their careers. They also really care about mental health and wellbeing – it's their top health concern.”

Key findings:

  1. Mental health and wellbeing is the #1 health concern for 78% of Gen Zers and 52% of millennials. They are also more likely to have their mental wellbeing impacted by financial issues than other generations.
  2. Gen Z and millennials are more likely to have issues with BNPL (40%) and personal loans (40%). On the flip side, they are less likely to have mortgages or credit card debt than older generations.
  3. Younger generations performed worse on financial literacy questions, with half of Gen Zers and millennials unable to access $5,000 in time of emergency if they needed to.
  4. 74% of Gen Zers and 61% of millennials haven’t calculated how much they need in retirement.
  5. The majority of under 30s (72%) are confident making decisions about their career, however express lower financial confidence making decisions about choosing an insurance policy (54%), selecting investments (40%), and planning for retirement (41%).

A launch event will be held on Thursday 28th September at 1pm. Access the full report here.


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New Zealand:

Financial Services Council
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Ben McAlary
Financial Services Council of Australia
0417 351 724 or