More than one in five people retiring this year will still owe on average £33,100, Prudential research found.
Around one in 20 people will retire with debts of more than £50,000. Over half of those retiring with debt owe money on mortgages and credit cards.
A further 14% do not know if they will be in debt when they retire this year.
Male retirees are more likely to be in debt, and owe substantially more than women. Around 23% of men will be in debt, owing on average of £39,500, compared to 18% of women, who owe an average of £25,100.
"These figures show how the Class of 2011, a previously risk-averse generation of savers took advantage of the consumer credit boom of the last decade," says Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development for retirement income at Prudential.
"It is important not to panic when faced with a reduced income and the need to pay off debts. There is plenty of help available when planning your retirement finances and a financial adviser is a good first port of call."
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