The paper investigates the level and incidence of saving required in order to maintain the standard of living that a household experiences whilst of working age into retirement. In order to do this, a model has been constructed that follows the income and expenditure of a household, allowing for tax and social security, as well as changing family circumstances. The model can be used to explain how a household should save in order to achieve a given standard of living in retirement.
The author concludes that the usual message, to save a fixed proportion of income throughout a working lifetime, is at best not helpful and at worst could lead to a lower standard of living over the household's lifetime. People can and should manage the timing of their saving and borrowing in order to achieve optimum incomes.