The report, by the HSBC, found just 39% of people have a financial plan in place for their future, despite many planning on going part-time in their 50s and giving up work at 62.
One in five said they do not know how they will fund their retirement, while 21% expected to be able to live off a state pension.
The report said that people seem to be avoiding the fact that people are living longer and that company pensions are likely to be less generous when they retire.
Around 49% of people expect to be worse off in their old age than their parents, with just 27% expecting to have a higher income.
A further 68% of people admit that they are worried that they are not financially prepared for when they stop work.
Even among those who do have a financial plan in place, only 26% have taken professional financial advice on what they should do.
David Wells, head of investments, pensions and savings at HSBC, said: 'The emergence of this ostrich generation is a real concern.
'Britons know that they need to plan and save more for their retirement, yet are not turning this knowledge into action.'