Squirrels As an Economic Model

I was reflecting on the fact that I haven’t won the lottery yet, and thinking about my retirement savings strategy.  Everything was rosy when I was making six figures, but recent years have been very challenging to say the least.  My more affluent friends are not Sciurus_carolinensis[1]too worried; my less affluent friends are as worried as I am.  We joke about living under the bridge in a box, or moving to some backwater where rents are cheap, but it’s really not funny.

As I often do when I’m thinking of something unpleasant or looking for a solution to a problem, my mind went back to ancient stories.  Aesop’s fable, “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” came to mind as a model for savings.  But who wants to drudge like a poor ant all day, just for the safety of an ant’s nest?  And what about the queen, sitting up there and being waited on hand and foot?  The grasshopper’s life looks much more attractive.  But he will die when the winter comes.  The ant won’t take him in.

Then I thought of another model.  What about squirrels?  Sure, they are squirrelly, and they can be terribly destructive if they get in your attic and go to work on nest-building.  But they wear fur coats, and they play a lot.  They always seem to be having a good time.  And they put away a lot of food for the cold months.  They seem to have a nice balance of work and play.

So the squirrel is my new model.  I have the “play” part down.  Now if I can just find some more nuts to stow away!

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