One in five Britons now fear that they will never be able to stop working because of shortfalls in their pensions and savings, according to a new report.
The survey, carried out by HSBC , warns that the UK is heading for an "Age of the Unretired", with pensioners in Britain more gloomy about their future prospects than those in other countries around the world.
The global survey, which questioned 16,000 people in 15 countries, shows that 19% of those asked in the UK expect that they will never be able to afford to retire fully.
In America the figure was 18%, in France and Hong Kong it was 12%, but in Brazil - one of the world's new fast-growing economies - only 5% think they will never retire properly.
It is also perhaps not surprising Brits are so downbeat, with nearly half of the British pensioners questioned saying their retirements had not turned out as they had planned, because they have less money to live on than hoped.
Darren Philp, from the National Association of Pension Funds , was not surprised so many are finding themselves short on funds later on in life.
He said: "The Government's own figures suggest that seven million people aren't saving enough for their retirement.
"Also people are living longer, so any money they do save has to last longer and we know that the economic environment hasn't been great over the past years so investments in pensions haven't been what people expected.
"It's tough out there for people."
Christine Foyster, head of wealth management at HSBC, said: "Today's workers should prepare for retirement as early as possible to have some certainty for retirement.
"Life is full of reasons to prioritise short-term spending over longer-term planning, but the sooner people start saving, the less likely they will have to rely on working in old age."
Raj Bhudia from London is 42 and works for a bank.
Despite working since he was 16 and financially planning for the future, he believes a restful retirement is some way off.
He told Sky News: "I think everyone is going to have to work beyond 65 or 70, because whatever little pensions we do have are not going to be enough to retire on and obviously the Government pension is not there either.
"My sons, they are going to university. They will be coming out with debts so hopefully we can help them, which means we won't have enough money to retire on and we'll have to work longer."