More than a third (35%) of women and a fifth (20%) of men over 50 do not have a private pension, but only 6% of homeowners plan to use equity release as a source of income, according to Sunlife.
The Finances Over 50 report found that 33% of over 50s do not think they have enough money to provide a sufficient income in retirement, rising to 36% among women.
Just 13% of the 3,000 respondents were confident they would have enough to fund a comfortable retirement.
Almost three in 10 (27%) believed they would rely on their partners’ private pension, rising to 30% of women; 12% would look to income from work in later life, while 11% expected to receive an inheritance.
Among homeowners, 14% were planning to downsize, but Sunlife’s Home Sentiment Research found that 62% of over 55s do not want to move home.
Simon Stanney, equity release director at SunLife, said: “It is quite worrying that so many over 50s are not financially ready for their retirement.
“And while relying in inheritance is risky, looking to property wealth is a viable option for some because there is a huge amount of wealth tied up in properties – particularly amongst older homeowners who have seen huge increases in the value of their properties over the years.
“Downsizing is an option for many; however, most over 55s do not want to move house, and this is where equity release could offer a solution because it allows homeowners over 55 to release some of the money tied up in the value of their home without having to move.
“It’s tax-free and the money can be used however they wish, including to make their retirement more comfortable.”