Young men are more likely to seek help from a financial adviser to improve their financial and overall wellbeing compared to women of the same age, according to research by Fidelity International.

Fidelity found a fifth (21%) of men aged between 18 and 34 have sought help from a financial adviser, compared to just 12% of women in the same age group.

This is despite a quarter of young women worrying about money on a daily basis (24%), and six-in-ten (59%) worrying about their finances at least once a week.

Additionally, women’s finances have been significantly and disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than three-quarters (78%) of job losses estimated to have affected women. However, even before the pandemic women faced significant financial challenges, with the gender pay gap coupled with a greater likelihood of taking a career break or going part-time to look after a family has meant that women face retirement with limited savings.

Previous research by Fidelity found half (54%) of women were concerned that they would not have enough to live comfortably in retirement. Separately, the Pensions Policy Institute also found that women in their 60s will on average retire with £51,000 of savings compared to men who on average will retire with £156,000.

By not engaging with financial advice in their younger years, said Fidelity, women risk falling behind their male counterparts early on. Missing this accumulation phase could mean women lose the opportunity to make the most of their financial assets and secure their future wealth.

Jackie Boylan, head of Fidelity FundsNetwork, said: “Our twenties and thirties can be vital years for building up longer term savings as well as hitting financial milestones. Financial advice can help us to think ahead, for both short and long-term goals and navigating any obstacles, and for women, this is arguably even more crucial.

“The gender pension gap is all too real, and now we have a whole generation of women set back even further by Covid-19: job losses, taking on more of the caring responsibilities as well as the domestic burden. Women should feel empowered to seek financial advice from a younger age, but there are too many barriers in the way from cost to a lack of confidence – meaning women are coming to it much later than men.”

This article was previously published on Professionaladviser.com