The average retired person has more than £8,000 of personal debt to repay - with the collective total for the country reaching £96bn, analysis has found.
Research from annuity provider MGM Advantage said the average level of personal debt for a retired man is about £9,007, and £7,350 for a female pensioner.
The poll of 1261 retirees found about 178,000 owed more than £100,000, while just over 729,000 owe between £25,000 and £100,000. Just 57% of retirees are debt free.
MGM Advantage director Aston Goodey said the figures were alarming.
He added: "As the cost of living continues to put pressure on household finances, many retired people will feel under growing pressure to take on debt to fund everyday living."
Goodey said the statistics were a clear steer towards shopping around for the best annuity deal.
According to the MGM Advantage Annuity Index the different between the best and worst rates can be as much as 50%.
"People should also make sure they are claiming all of the state benefits to which they are entitled and also ensure that they have accounted for all old savings accounts and pension plans," he said.
Wales had the highest level of retired person debt of £13,857. This was followed by £11,758 in the South West, and £11,255 in London.
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