The average retired person has £8,180 of personal debt, with men owing more than women, according to research published today by MGM Advantage.
In total, the UK's retired population owes £96.41bn, the insurer said, with around 178,000 retired people each owing £100,000 or more. Just over 729,000 people owe between £25,000 and £100,000, while 57% (6,776 million people) of the retired population has no debt.
MGM Advantage's research found that the average level of personal debt for a retired man is £9,007, compared to £7,350 for a retired woman.
On a regional basis, the highest debt was recorded by retirees in Wales, where the average retired person has personal debt of £13,857. This was followed by the South West (£11,758) and London (£11,255). In the East Midlands, the average retiree has just £4,164 of personal debt.
Aston Goodey, a director at MGM Advantage, said: 'These figures are alarming. 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.
Older people should take steps to reduce the chances of having to fund their retirement through debt, he said. In particular, they should shop around for the best annuity rate to maximise their pension income.
People should also ensure they claim all state benefits they're entitled to and include all their old savings accounts and pension plans in their finances, he added.