Research for the financial advice network Openwork on consumer attitudes to Financial Planning found that despite rising demand for financial advice millions admit they do not know where to go for help.
A nationwide study of just over 1,000 consumers carried out for the company, which has 3,900 advisers, found that more than two out of five (43%) of people do not know how to access advice.
Women were missing out the most with 62% of women surveyed in the dark about where to go for financial advice compared to 38% of men.
Despite claims that technology can help people with their financial decisions the research found people prefer face-to-face advice.
Some 71% say they are concerned that so-called robo-advice may not be what they need and nearly three out of four (73%) of adults say they would rather speak to a human financial adviser.
Around one in four (26%) surveyed said they had not started saving for retirement and more than two out of five (42%) say they won’t start until they are aged 55-plus.
Just one in five (20%) have a target date for retirement and just 32% believe they will be able to retire by their target date. Around 20% fear they will never be able to afford to stop work.
Claire Limon, director of learning and acquisition at Openwork, said: “People are increasingly recognising the value of expert financial advice but it’s worrying that they still aren’t sure about the best way to access it.
“We commissioned the research to check our understanding of people’s attitudes to Financial Planning so that we can identify and start to break down the barriers that stop so many people seeking it.
“There is already massive unmet demand for face-to-face advice and we want more advisers to join us and more people to start a career in financial planning with us so that we can meet it.”
Research was conducted among 1,014 adults aged 18-plus online by Consumer Intelligence in March.