Almost one in five retired people who used property to finance their retirement felt they had had no choice in the matter.
A Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) report on how 35-85 year olds use or plan to use property to fund their retirement found that 19% of people had felt obliged to use property to pay for a pension.
It reported some two million people had done so, with 'downsizing' the most popular single option, chosen by 11% of respondents.
Buy-to-let and letting holiday homes, scored 4% each, while re-mortgaging was rare, chosen by only 1%.
Among the six million home owners with a mortgage who are not retired, 53% thought their home would play a part in financing retirement, even though 13% do not expect to pay off their mortgage before they retire.
The proportion of people believing they will have no choice but to use their property rose to 33% among 35-44 year olds.
Across all age groups though there was little support for the idea 'my house is my pension', with only 18% people agreeing.
PLSA chief executive Joanne Segars said: "Retirement simply doesn't' look like it used to - the lines are blurring between work and retirement, between pensions and other forms of saving.
"Pensions, even great workplace pension schemes, don't operate in isolation any more. They interact with other savings, and as an industry we need to adapt in order to help savers adequately prepare for retirement."
The PLSA will publish a full report on the issue this winter.