Is your career adding up?

 In 2010, on average men retired at just over 64, with women retiring slightly earlier at an average of 62 years old, according to research by the Office for National Statistics.

Between that first nerve-wracking week and the day we hang up our work boots, on average we experience six jobs, at least one period of unemployment or redundancy, and one office romance, according to a study of British workers by Benenden Health. You may have also taken an average of 125 days off sick and been late 188 times. It all adds up. Have you done the maths to get the most out of your career (and your retirement afterwards)?

In your 20s: calculate the effort

You’re probably at the stage where you’re working out what matters to you both in the workplace and on your balance sheets, setting up your priorities and the financial practices that will underpin the rest of your life. Although it’s tempting to ignore your finances until a mortgage and family may arrive, this is actually a time where you can really decide what you want to do with the next 30 or 40 years of work. Our salary calculator can give you a useful breakdown of your pay, even showing how your tax is spent by the government.

Play around with the numbers

Consider setting goals, whether short term (a holiday this Summer?) or longer term (a mortgage?). Money Hub can incorporate your everyday spending to give you a sense of what’s going well, and where you might be going wrong en route.

After interviewing hundreds of the world’s top athletes, musicians, artists and scientists, author Malcolm Gladwell suggested that we need at least 10,000 hours of intense effort and practice to become truly excellent at something. Innate talent is simply not enough - significant personal sacrifice, sustained hard work and a huge time commitment often need to go in too. If that’s not inspiration enough to pin down your goals, consider the financial benefits if you were to start saving for retirement early: