More than half of people nearing retirement age are worried they have not been saving enough, a survey from City regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) suggests.
Some 36 per cent of those questioned said they were very worried about being able to make ends meet in retirement. More than one in four did not expect to leave anything of value to their children.
The FSA also found that many people are relying on the equity in their property to provide a more comfortable old age. Nearly 40 per cent of the survey sample said they were planning to sell up and move somewhere smaller on retirement.
To help people tackle their finances, the FSA has launched a series of jargon-busting "Moneymadeclear" consumer guides. These can be ordered from the FSA helpline on 0845 606 1234 or viewed at www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk.
The FSA has also issued some general advice for people near to retirement. First, they should take stock of their finances and work out how much their savings, pensions and insurance policies will pay them in retirement. They should also get a state pension forecast.
If they can't locate some savings or pensions, they can use tracking services run by the British Bankers' Association or the Unclaimed Assets Register to find them.
Finally, the FSA advises people nearing retirement to shop around for an annuity rather than simply accepting the one offered by their insurance company.