The consumer group Which? have published some figures which suggest couples who want to enjoy a happy retirement need to save at least £131 a month from age 20 onwards.

The cost of delay is also illustrated in their research, with a couple aged 30 needing to save just under £200 to get the same result, and those over 50 needing to save just over £600 a month.

According to Which?, in order to live a happy retirement, you need an average of £18,000 a year as a couple to cover household essentials - or £26,000 a year if you want some extras, such as European holidays and leisure activities.

In order to generate an income of £26,000 a year in retirement, a couple would need a pension pot of £210,000 in today's money, in addition to their state pension income.

Studies like this are interesting because they highlight a number of things.

The cost of delay is evident in the figures they present; the earlier you start saving for retirement, the easier (and cheaper) is becomes. This is because you benefit from putting more into the retirement pot and your investments can grow over time, benefiting from compounded returns.

Any forecasts like these rely on making numerous assumptions about the future. As financial planners, we urge you to think carefully about the assumptions you make and keep them under regular review.

Getting people in their early 20s to think about retirement income is no easy task. It becomes easier to look to the future the older we get, although competing financial priorities will often push retirement planning down the list until closer to the time.