Cost of living pressures are forcing nearly one person in three aged over 60 to make major sacrifices, such as turning down heating and eating less, new research by Homewise shows.
Homewise, which specialises in lifetime lease plans for the over 60s, found 29% of this age group had made cutbacks, borrowed from family and friends or sold possessions to secure enough money to live on.
Around 12% said they could not heat their homes adequately and 10% said they economised by eating less.
The study showed that around 600,000 people aged over 60 - equivalent of 7% of this age group - had less than £50 a week in spare cash.
Homewise managing director Mark Neal said: "The rise in average pensioner incomes is very welcome but it does not tell the whole story and the sacrifices that many have to make in order to get by.
"Far too many people in retirement are stuck in debt, living in unsuitable housing and having to scrimp and save."
He said lifetime leases could help people to clear debts and release enough money for their retirement.