If you are 30 years old and have not been saving for retirement it is not too late.

Rob Formby, director of retail operations at Allan Gray, outlined to Sowetan guidelines for those who may get a decent job at 30.

"If you are 30 years old and wish to retire in 35 years (at 65) you will need to save about 12 percent of your salary to retire comfortable," Formby said.

"If you delay saving by 10 years, leaving you 25 years to your retirement, the percentage rises to 21 percent," he said.

Formby said while the need to save was important, South Africans on average do not get it right.

"Investment performance in excess of inflation contributes to effective long-term savings."

"A one percent increase in investment performance will increase your post-retirement income by 31 percent," he said.

"If you are retiring in 25 years this same one percent increase in investment income will result in a 23 percent increase in your post-retirement income," said Formby.

Formby said his calculations are applicable under the assumption that the worker earns R10000 a month, inflation is six percent and salary inflation is seven percent.

"In South Africa, the very low or negative levels of household saving indicate that currently most people are spending as opposed to saving," he said.

According to research, Forby said, when people are offered a choice of a certain gain, or a gamble for a bit more, but at the risk of a loss, most people would take the certain gain.

"By putting off savings in favour of spending now, a person is gambling that he or she will be able to save in future for retirement.

"As the time passes the relative position falls farther behind and the person is likely to continue to gamble," said Formby.

"Saving is not a get rich quick scheme, it is not about chance and it will not suddenly happen. It is about starting early, planning and being disciplined," he said.