Australians face a 13 year shortfall in retirement funds, and almost half the population admit they are not adequately prepared.
HSBC's Future of Retirement research shows Australians' savings rates are among the worst in the world.
The global survey of 16,000 showed Australians expect their retirement to last an average of 23 years, but their savings and investments are on track to run dry within 10 years, making it the largest gap in Asia and the fourth largest globally.
The research also revealed more than half of the nation has never saved specifically for retirement outside of compulsory superannuation.
"Australians are in denial about retirement planning," HSBC head of retail banking and wealth management Graham Heunis said.
"Being concerned is not enough, the next generation need to take action and start saving now."
Globally, an average of 39 per cent of people have not saved or are planning to save for retirement, compared to 53 per cent in Australia.
With wage growth in Australia now slowing to 2.6 per cent per annum, the lowest rate of growth since 1998, many Australians were struggling to afford retirement, Mr Heunis said.
One in six people believe they will never be in a financial position to fully retire.
The research found more than a third of retirees felt their preparation was insufficient and half feel they should have started saving at age 30.