If you don't start saving now, you may never be able to afford to retire

You're gonna live longer, which means you're going to have to find a way to have more money

Until you get close to reaching retirement age, few of us will give it a second thought. But that’s a costly mistake.

Average life expectancy is now at its highest level ever with 65-year-old men now looking forward to another 19 years, with women of the same age facing another 21 years.

A report from Public Heath England published earlier this month revealed that women aged under 65 can now expect to spend almost a third of their lives in retirement.

That’s great news, but living is an expensive business and anyone who reckons they’ll survive in retirement on the state pension is in for a sharp awakening.

From April there’s a standard-rate pension that most will get of just £155.65 a week. Bear in mind that most of those retiring in the future will still have a hefty mortgage debt hanging over than, that will be inadequate.

 The government has recognised the growing problem for future generations of retirees and has embarked upon a major programme called auto-enrolment which has been forcing firms to start a pension for workers.

That’s a help, but with contributions starting at just 1 per cent and rising to 4 per cent, the eventual payouts will still look fairly inadequate when most come retire.

The solution really is simple: stash away as much as you can afford for your retirement as soon as you can. If you’re in your 20s it may seem that there are more important things to spend your hard-earned on, but a few thousand saved now into a pension will be worth tens of thousands, assuming normal investment growth rates, by the time you retire.

And that could make the difference between having a choice about when you give up work, and facing the reality of realising you may never be able to afford to hang up your tools.