Having a financial advisor does not make a little difference in whether a person feels financially secure—it makes a huge difference, according to a study by Northwestern Mutual, a financial services firm based in Milwaukee.

According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2017 Planning and Progress study, 68 percent of people with a financial advisor feel very financially secure, compared to 36 percent of those without an advisor.

In addition, only 51 percent of those without an advisor have taken any steps to assure they will not run out of money in retirement, while 85 percent of those with an advisor have taken those crucial steps.

More people are engaging financial advisors, says Northwestern, as the number of Americans with an advisor increased to 35 percent this year versus 31 percent last year.

“As people live longer, the economy continues to fluctuate, and healthcare and other costs increase, navigating retirement planning becomes more complex and overwhelming,” says Rebekah Barsch, vice president planning, Northwestern Mutual. “Working with an advisor is like having an experienced guide map out an itinerary for your retirement journey that's tailored to your unique lifestyle goals and circumstances.”