More than half (55 per cent) of adults aged between 45-54 are more worried about their financial situation now than before lockdown, according to research from Aviva.

The firm also found that 30 per cent in this age group are suffering from poor mental heath due to the financial implications of coronavirus.

The so-called “sandwich generation” are shouldering the heaviest financial burden because of the pandemic.

Aviva’s research into how personal finance issues have been exacerbated during lockdown also highlights that one in six respondents have adult children who are more financially dependent on them.

As well as mental health problems, the financial situation is causing issues for people’s sleep, physical health and family relations.

Aviva head of savings and retirement Alistair McQueen said: “The economic impact of coronavirus has been laid bare, and our research has revealed the significant mental health impact that the financial concerns have caused.

“While no one is immune to the knock-on effects that the economic downturn will have – the impact on the mental health on the squeezed middle is far-reaching. Too often this generation finds themselves shouldering their own financial burden and at least part of their children’s, and it’s vital that more support is offered to them.

“Having confidence in being able to plan for the future is more important now than ever before, yet the vast majority do not, or cannot, access regulated financial advice. This means millions are acting alone, hoping for the best.”

Aviva’s research also revealed that the majority (60 per cent) of mid-life adults who discussed their finances with a family member or close friend agree they feel better for having discussed it.

Of these respondents over half (52 per cent) agreed that they feel closer to their family and friends as a result of opening up, 49 per cent agree they now feel less embarrassed or inhibited when talking about money, and 48 per cent agree they have learned about new options for their finances having had a conversation.