I know what I want to do with my extra healthy years

Elderly people on a seesaw We've all watched the Olympics this summer and bemoaned our own fitness regimes, vowing to get back on the diet. But don't despair – despite not having the training programme of a top class athlete you are probably getting healthier.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that males and female in the UK can expect to spend more than 80% of their lives in good or very good general health.

Those living in England can expect to spend the longest periods in good health and free from limiting persistent illness or disability, while our cousins in Scotland and Northern Ireland fall behind.

If you're living in England or Wales then you can look forward to an increased number of healthy years but again those in Scotland and Northern Ireland are seeing the number of healthy years reduce.

On average men are now expected to live in good health until age 64 – two healthy years more than five years ago. Women can expect to live healthily for three and a half years more than they would have half a decade age.

The fact that we're living more healthy years is great because we're all going to have to be working longer before we retire. Most of us just don't have the savings to retire at 65 anymore – certainly people in their 20s and 30s who are struggling with student debt, finding a deposit for a house and thinking about starting a family don't stand a chance.

Or, we could use those extra years to really enjoy retirement or as it is often dubbed 'the holiday of a lifetime'. What's the point in getting to retirement if we can't enjoy it because we're too ill?

This is why younger people need to start saving now. I know it seems hard and you don't think you have any cash to spare but putting aside just £50 a month can add up to a substantial sum. You don't even need to save it into a pension, use an individual savings account (ISA) so you have access to the money for an emergency.

Saving little and often and making sure you start early is the only way which you will be able to save up a nice little nest egg for your retirement. It may seen like a long way off but once you get to that holiday of a lifetime you will be thankful for some spending money.
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