And of those who do believe retirement is on the cards, one in 10 reckon they’ll be aged 70 or older when the time comes.
However, not all employees WANT to hang up their hat, as 37 per cent say they wouldn’t be able to afford to stop working and 27 per cent claim they would be bored.
One quarter of adults would like to keep their brain sharp, and 22 per cent feel work gives them a sense of purpose.
Other popular reasons for wanting to continue the nine to five include enjoying colleagues’ company and conversation every day, and getting a rewarding feeling from their work.
The thought of spending all day with their partner, having to watch daytime TV and paying more for heating bills are other reasons Brits want to remain employed.
Geoffrey Dennis, chief executive of SPANA, which provides free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries, said: “Most adults in the UK would like to retire early.
“But many people feel they’ll be working for many more years than they’d hoped – perhaps well into their seventies, or beyond.
“However, it’s clear many people also get a real sense of satisfaction going to work, as it gives them a reason to get up in the morning and a sense of purpose.
“It’s a different story for working animals in developing countries.
“These horses, donkeys and mules must work for their entire lives and never get to retire.
“As they get older, they have to carry on working, even with painful conditions such as arthritis.”
It emerged 14 per cent of employees are convinced they’d feel old if they were to retire, and 12 per cent want to keep going as it keeps their body healthy.
A fortunate one in 10 adults are proud of their position at work, while 12 per cent enjoy the structure of their day and eight per cent enjoy the socialising that comes with being part of a business.
The study of 2,000 office workers found 44 per cent intend to carry on working for as long as they are able to.
And 43 per cent believe if they stopped their current career they’d probably always have a part-time job or continue to work on an ad hoc basis.
Only three in 10 adults say they’re likely to give up work suddenly, with most assuming they’ll make the transition from full time worker to retiree over a longer period of time.
And although many cite money as being the factor that will have the biggest impact on when they retire (60 per cent), 45 per cent are likely to be led by the state of their health.
Others say they’ll make their decision about retirement age based on availability of work, new ambitions or general happiness levels.
While three quarters of workers admit they enjoy their job, the average person would like to retire at age 57.
But to retire comfortably, most people feel they would need a pension pot of some £239,155 for things to be manageable, and almost eight in 10 worry they’ll never have enough money to stop working.
For those who believe retirement is a possibility, more than half of adults are looking forward to having more spare time and 37 per cent will welcome a stress-free lifestyle.
The option to be spontaneous, getting to see the grandchildren grow up and having more time with friends and family also appeal to many workers.
Geoffrey Dennis of SPANA added: “The research shows that more than third of UK workers don’t want to retire, either for financial reasons or due to the positive aspects of working life they feel they’d miss.
“It’s positive that many people do have a choice in the matter, and can continue to work if they don’t feel ready to retire and put their feet up.
“Working animals overseas have no such choice.
“Like their owners, they cannot stop working, often carrying heavy loads for long periods in extreme temperatures and terrible conditions.
“As these animals grow older, their hard lives can take their toll – and painful injuries and diseases can cause agony.
“Retirement isn’t an option, but SPANA is improving the welfare of these working animals, providing vital free veterinary care and training for their owners.
“Please show your support for hardworking animals and visit www.spana.org/arthritis.”
TOP 20 REASONS BRITS DON’T WANT TO RETIRE:
1. I wouldn’t be able to afford it / don’t want to be poor
2. I think I would be bored
3. Work keeps my brain sharp
4. Work gives me purpose
5. I don’t want to spend all day at home
6. I would miss talking to people
7. I enjoy the challenge of my job
8. I would spend more money if I was off work
9. I would feel old
10. My work is rewarding
11. If my partner was still working
12. It keeps my body healthy
13. If all my friends were still working
14. I like the structure of my day currently
15. I like workplace banter
16. I’m proud of my position at work
17. My heating and electricity bills would be higher
18. I like seeing my colleagues every day
19. Daytime TV is awful
20. I like socialising after work