The research was carried out by SHIP to gain a greater understanding of how people expected to organise their retirement finances.
It found that most people hoped to maintain their current living standard into retirement (38%), with over 10% expecting to exceed it.
This is despite the fact that 73% of those questioned intended to manage their retirement finances themselves, without seeking advice from an IFA.
It also found just 9% had met with an IFA only once, 4% had taken advice from a bank or financial institution, and 6% had taken advice organised by their employer.
Although the majority of people expected to have a high living standard in retirement they seemed unaware of the full range of retirement funding options available to them.
Most people planned to fund their retirement with some form of pension.
However when asked about structured pension plans, 23% said that they had one but that it wouldn’t be enough for them to retire on, and 35% had no regular pension at all.
When asked about equity release many did not have a clear view of what it actually entailed and some had never heard of it at all (14%).
When asked for their definitions of equity release, 9% of people wrongly identified it as a remortgage, and 32% of people thought it was a form of sale and rent- back.
Andrea Rozario, Director General of SHIP, said: “It is interesting to note that although 73% of Britons consider that they are responsible for their own retirement finances, so few are regularly consulting financial advisers to ensure that they are making the most of their money.
“The findings show that without consulting an IFA, consumers are likely to miss out of the full spectrum of retirement planning products.
“There seems to still be some uncertainty about the definition of equity release, but SHIP is working hard to increase consumer understanding of the product.
“Financial advisers can help to play a key role in developing and expanding the industry, and we encourage them to give us their feedback through www.ship-ltd.org.uk”