People are so worried about not having enough money to fund their retirements that they are turning to eBay to sell off their cherished possessions to raise cash.
Around one in five retirement savers aged between 55 and 65 years old are turning to online auction sites to help make ends meet, according to new research.
And pension poverty is the biggest fear of those approaching retirement – which they put above good health and even the prospect of losing their partners.
The study, by retirement finance firm MGM Advantage, reveals more than half of everyone approaching or just starting retirement cannot pay their day-to-day bills.
Even major worries like poor health (45%) or losing a partner (32%) lagged cash concerns for the over 55s.
The main financial problems fear in retirement are inflation eating into the spending power of fixed incomes (37%) and failing to save enough (30%).
Selling possessions is often follows trying to cut spending and is seen by many retirees as a way of avoiding downsizing their homes.
A third of those approaching retirement are already considering selling their properties to help make ends meet, says the research.
Although inflation has steadily dropped over recent months to below the Bank of England target of 2%, the cost of living is still outpacing incomes and returns on savings offered by banks, building societies and investment firms are miserly.
Only 80 of several hundred ISA and savings accounts on the market offer an above inflation return.
Basic rate taxpayer needs accounts to pay at least 2.28% a year to break-even with inflation and tax
The latest consumer price index figure for inflation – the official measure of price rises – is 1.9%, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Andrew Tully, of MGM Advantage said: “Instead of looking forward to their retirement, in fact the people who thought they had saved enough to fund their retirement are the ones selling off their belongings through online auction sites in large numbers to pay their day to day living costs.
“It’s not a good financial strategy and clearly anyone doing this will reach a glass ceiling where they have nothing more to sell but still have bills to pay.”
“People used to downsize and move to enjoy their retirement, but what we are seeing now is people having to sell up to keep the wolf from the door. The rising cost of living, especially energy bills has hit this generation hard.”