A quarter of people in Britain are entering retirement feeling sad, anxious or lost, a government-commissioned poll suggests.
The survey by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) reveals many people are entering retirement unprepared, either financially or mentally, for leaving work.
As a response the government is now pushing employers to allow workers heading into retirement to stay on.
"The idea that one day you work and the next you stop can be a shock to the system," said pensions minister Mike O'Brien.
"These findings challenge the traditional 'one size fits all' approach to retirement.
"Many of today's older workers are rejecting the cliff edge between work and retirement in favour of a gradual step down. And employers should help them to do this."
The DWP poll reveals the biggest challenges for those leaving work were expected to be missing friends, the challenge of employment, office camaraderie and just getting out of the house.
However, freedom from the commute, office politics, and the office party were seen as benefits of retirement.
"Women's state pension age is moving but you don't have to retire at this date," said Mr O'Brian.
"You have time to plan and you may be surprised by the choices you have.
You could use your state pension to allow you to work part-time or choose to put off taking it and get extra pension later or a lump sum.
"To get the facts, put your birthday into the Pension Service website and it'll tell you when you can get your state pension."
Meanwhile, a poll by Axa reveals 83 per cent of people fear any reforms to pensions will leave them working longer and later in life.
Steve Folkard, head of pensions and savings policy at AXA, said: "Some people have negative thoughts of retirement and it is not surprising feelings of trepidation are heightened in the current financial climate.
"Although the majority of retirees say that their retirement income is sufficient, people still in work should be aware that having a happy and prosperous retirement costs money, so it's vital they plan ahead."