Well I am going to give you credit for being 22 and actually thinking about retirement. That clearly makes you unique. Let me first disagree with the original thought posted. Savings is not a waste and inflation does not compound and destroy all your savings, unless you put all your savings into a taxable passbook account and never think about it. An active effort is required in monitoring the value of your savings and making portfolio adjustments from time to time to escape (or rather, outperform) the effects of inflation. What about taxes? The poster obviously has never heard of a 401K or a Roth or regular IRA. These types of financial vehicles allow you to save tax free (at least for the time until you withdraw funds) and so taxation is not an issue. You will pay taxes after you retire (even on Roths, don't kid your self, the government will not be able to resist taxing them in the future) and draw down your savings. You will watch your savings-less 65-75 year old friends bag groceries for a living while you walk in and buy a latte before heading out to do whatever you want to do in your retirement every single day!

The single biggest draw for someone your age to start early is this simple truth: If you start now and dutifuly save for the next 10 years, you can literally stop after that and the amount you have amassed will grow compounded into a tidy sum by the time you turn 65. Thats important because so many young people don't start to think about retirement savings until they start families and of course by then they have the added financial strain of young children. Just imagine how much better it will be to know that you can start saving for your kid's education because you already front loaded your own retirement. I have a lot of friends who have to borrow from their retirement accounts to finance their kids education and what a mistake that is. They will never recover the funds by the time they need the money. But you won't have that problem and if your view point is global all the better, you can invest all over the world for added protection from taxes and inflation. Just takes a little work, nothing good comes for free.