One in seven adults are planning to retire in their 50s - but a fifth expect to be working well into their 70s, according to a study.
Researchers who polled 2,000 working adults found 34 per cent think early retirement is achievable.
And 62 per cent that feel this way are putting money aside each month in pursuit of this goal.
While a third are making overpayments on their mortgage in bid to be free of any financial obligations.
Another 21 per cent intend to downsize so they can quit their jobs sooner rather than later and reap the rewards of retirement.
But the research by Timeline, makers of financial planning software and providers of an evidence-based investment advice service for financial advisers, found half ‘can’t imagine’ ever being able to fully stop working.
Getting the right advice
Getting advice from a financial adviser might help, but just 27 per cent have sought counsel from such experts about their retirement plans.
A spokesperson for Timeline said: "Retirement may seem unobtainable for some but it shouldn't be – indeed, once you start to look into it, it’s more realistic than you might think.
“It’s never too early to create or too late to improve your retirement plan.”
“The subject matter – pensions, retirement plans, national insurance – can seem quite overwhelming so that in itself could be a barrier to someone believing early retirement is possible.
“But millions of people in the UK do retire early – and live very comfortably too, so it certainly doesn’t need to be a pipedream.
“For many, receiving the right financial advice from a qualified financial adviser makes a huge difference in understanding their own situation.”
Life after retirement
The study also found those polled think they would need more than £380,000 to retire early – this includes state pension, any other pensions they may have, and personal savings.
So perhaps it’s no surprise 39 per cent of adults think early retirement is becoming less common.
Another factor behind this perception might be people not planning ahead – 52 per cent admitted they haven’t even thought about putting money aside for when they retire.
Further to this, 17 per cent don’t know if they currently contribute more than the standard pension contribution amount each month – while 43 per cent are ‘certain’ they don’t.
While six in 10 also aren’t sure what the minimum workplace pension contribution is.
It’s estimated there's £20 billion in lost pensions in the UK, from pension contributions received or made in past jobs which haven’t been transferred over when starting a new job.
But 75 per cent have never checked to see if they have any missing pensions – with 53 per cent admitting they wouldn’t know how to.
The study found six in 10 have also never checked their state pension contributions and 46 per cent said they have no idea how to get this information.
Taking financial action
While 61 per cent have yet to see what their National Insurance contributions amount to and 49 per cent are unsure how to find this out.
Four in 10 are planning to get expert advice about their retirement plan from a financial adviser to rectify this.
Carried out through OnePoll, the study found 55 per cent fear it’s too late for them to do anything to make early retirement a possibility or simply make it financially comfortable.
And this isn’t just a concern among older adults - more than half (52 per cent) of those aged 18 to 34 have these worries.
Timeline's spokesperson added: “This research suggests nervousness among many adults about retirement planning and getting to grips with related financial considerations like pensions.
“But you can take action right now to start getting things in order. There is a wealth of information and expertise out there – financial advisers can eradicate any need for any head scratching.
"As well as our financial planning software and evidence-based model portfolios that empower financial planners, we have just launched The Investing Show.
"This is a free service to help people make sensible investment decisions and better understand some of these issues."