The next generation face being in their 50s before they have paid off their student loans and in their 60s before they are mortgage free, research suggested today.
The Scottish Widows study argued that rising life expectancies, combined with people being saddled with large debts earlier in life, mean that today's children should start saving for their retirement at the age of 25 if they want to enjoy a comfortable old age.
Economist Steve Lucas based the projections on predictions that a third of children born in the UK this year will live to be 100 years old.
He argued that financial pressures from university and housing costs will mean that the next generation will only be able to afford smaller pension contributions, meaning they need to start saving from around 25 years old to prepare for 30 years of retirement.
Mr Lucas estimated that someone born in 2012 could expect to build up around £73,000 worth of student debt and they would typically be aged around 52 by the time they have paid this off.
They also face being aged around 61 by the time they have cleared their mortgage and can expect to be around 70 years old before they retire, he said.
Mr Lucas said: “In the future, older workers - especially in the professional and business services sector - are likely to stay working longer into their 70s, but the nature of this work will become more flexible and probably more part-time.
“Workers in manual or vocational careers are also likely to look to extend their working lives by undertaking a less strenuous, more part-time role.”
The Government's landmark scheme to automatically enrol up to 10 million people into workplace pensions got under way last month, as it works to tackle the pension savings crisis.
Iain McGowan, head of investment propositions at Scottish Widows, said that greater flexibility may be needed in pension saving, as people try to put money aside for their old age at the same time they are facing more immediate pressures on their finances.
He said: “Offering more flexibility that combines the accessibility of an Isa with the tax benefits of a pension could help future generations face up to the twin challenge of saving for short-term financial hurdles like a deposit for a mortgage or a wedding while at the same time setting aside enough for retirement.”
The study used a combination of official statistics and figures from insurers and loan companies.