One in four people mistakenly believe that the government will pay for all of their care in old age, according to the Department of Health.
The government is currently consulting on its green paper proposals to reform a social care system it admits is longer fit for purpose.
Alex Edmans, care funding adviser at Saga said: "These figures are incredibly scary and demonstrate how confusing this topic can be and a lack of understanding on the support available. Everyone has to realise that, in most cases, the state is not going to pick up the whole cost of an individual's care.
Recent research carried out by Saga suggests many people feel that the government should be meeting the cost of care. Almost half of people (46%), and particularly those over 50 (58%), believe that the state should pay for the care needs for older people. Of these over 50s, 48% believe that as having paid taxes throughout their lifetime, the government should provide support when they need it, and a quarter feel the government should fund long term care as the state pension isn't high enough to fund care home fees (24%).
Edmans said: "The stark reality is that anyone who requires care in a care home and has assets over £23,000, which can include property, will have to pay for their care in full themselves. With care home fees averaging at £24,700 a year, or £35,100 a year if nursing is required, this does not come cheaply."