Savers are leaving it until their mid-50s before they boost their savings reserves – just as they close in on retirement – according to latest research by the Halifax.
The average savings balance in the age group 55-64 is £13,516; 46% above the average for all savers in England and Wales at £9,228. Savers aged 45 to 54 have an average balance just over half that at £7,164 - £2,000 lower than the average balance for all savers. Those aged 35 to 44 have an average savings balance of just £3,984.
The older we get the more we save
Savers aged between 65 and 74 have an average balance of £17,405 rising to £21,648 for savers over 75.
Typically the younger section of the adult population tends to have lower savings, with savers in the age group 25 to 44 having an average balance of between £2,700 and £4,000, a third of the national average for all savers.
Livings costs mean that only after reaching their mid-forties do savers start boosting their balances by an average of 89% to £13,516 by the time they reach 64 years of age.
Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings, says: "This latest research highlights a stark difference in savings between younger savers and those nearing retirement. Whilst we would expect to see balances grow as people get older, the dramatic rise in the last 10 years before retirement indicates that many savers are leaving it too late to boost their retirement income.
"We know that younger families can find it hard to set aside any spare cash with many outgoings already putting a strain on their finances, but saving regularly, whether it is for a specific short-term goal, or more long-term, should always be a priority."
There is a wide variation in average balances between regions for all savers; the highest overall being in East Anglia (£10,350) and the lowest in the north east (£8,255); a difference of 25%.
There is also a north-south divide, with savers in the southern regions on average saving 12% more than those in the northern areas (£9,848 versus £8,779).
However, some of the regional disparity is reversed when average balances are compared to average earnings. Savers in London have an average balance equivalent to 26% of annual average earnings, and in the south east this proportion rises to 33%.
In contrast, average savings balance is equivalent to 38% of earnings in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the south west.
Largest average savings balances by local area districts
Highest average balances are held by residents in the Mole Valley, Surrey (£15,015), South Buckinghamshire (£14,827) and the Chilterns (£14,517). Of the top 30 local authorities with the largest average savings balances, 26 are in the south of England.
Outside southern England, savers in Derbyshire Dales have the highest average balance of £12,664, followed by Fylde (£12,224) and Hambleton in North Yorkshire (£12,218).
Lowest average savings balances by local area districts
The nation's lowest savers are in London in Newham (£5,215) and Hackney (£5,234). These London boroughs are followed by Manchester (£5,617), Barking and Dagenham (£5,826) and Lewisham (£5,934).
Eight of the 30 local authorities with the lowest average savings balances are in London.