One of the readers commented in my post about The Zen of RV’ing with respect to the rise in RV population as more Boomers retire. Jim’s comment got me to thinking about a related topic: the idea of “Windows of Opportunity.”
- At age 5 we aren’t fit to be parents to another human life.
- I wonder how many patients would feel comfortable with a 13 year old prodigy doctor.
- There’s a good reason The President of the U.S. has to have reached a minimum age (35, in case you have forgotten).
- And there’s a good reason that driving privileges can be suspended if you drive drunk, or have certain medical conditions, or even when you can no longer pass a driving test.
One of the cruel realities of life is that we can’t do anything we want any time we choose. We all face windows of opportunity and when the window is closed all our dreaming is for naught. We can be well served to hustle on through an open window – because you never know when that window will close.
Different kinds of window
I think there are specific kinds of Opportunity Windows for RV’ers.
- For one thing, there can be a financial window.
- For another, there can be a family-life window.
- Certainly there can be a health window.
- And for the short-term there can definitely be a timing window.
Let me take just a couple moments and think about each.
For Peggy & I I think for sure there was a financial window. By making the move when we did I think we missed a significant bump in RV pricing that has been going on the last few years. With more Boomers retiring and more of those having significant retirement nest eggs (certainly larger than ours) I have watched prices of comparable RV’s rise significantly. If we were retiring today I’m not sure we would be able to get into RV’ing on the level that we would have wanted if it was to be a longterm thing for us today. We all have our financial limits and paying attention to what the market is doing can make a difference in whether we can really afford to be full timers, or not.
Whether a family-life window exists for any retiring couple depends a lot on where there family stands at the point of their retirement. A friend of ours had their first and only child a year earlier than we had the joy of adding a grand daughter to our family. For them, they are in a very different ‘family life’ situation than we are. How long you wait before marrying (if you do), what your ages are when children are born, how the parents are doing at raising those kids, and what the changing work market might be doing to their ability to raise a family can have dramatic and life changing impacts on grand parents. On this trip alone we have met several grandparents who suddenly found themselves raising children again — in their 50’s and 60’s because their children had (a.) finanacial issues, (b.) broken marriages, (c.) drug problems. Sometimes life grabs you by the throat and no matter what you might want to do, you just don’t have the opportunity: the window closes before you have a chance to live your dream.
We all have to accept that there is a definite health window of opportunity as well. You need a certain degree of physical ability, mental acuity, and emotional solidity in order to do this. A bad fall and a broken hip at the wrong time in life can end a person’s dream of RV’ing. Cancer can throw your plans for travel up in the air and where it lands you may never discover. A failure in the health of your partner as well can ‘mess up’ your retirement plans, your RV’ing plans, and even your relationship itself.
A while ago I talked about picking the right time of year to visit National Parks. Crowds, weather, and seasonal fluctuations in price can make the difference between being able to visit a place or not. I know that for us it’s been a challenge to suss out the changes of season as one moves east and west, north and south, higher and lower elevations. No matter what you have grown to be accustomed to, the weather in other places can come as a big surprise and seasons can be quite different than that you expect.
I’m sure there are many more sorts of ‘windows of opportunity.’ All I wanted to do today was to raise a topic for conversation. Think about where you stand in your life. Is RV’ing for you — not the idealistic dream you may have but the reality of constantly moving, fuel expenses, campground & insurance costs, time away from family and friends, etc. RVin’g isn’t for everyone; and Everyone isn’t for RV’ing. For those of us who fit into the lifestyle it can be wonderful. But sometimes people expect one thing and discover quite something else. I’ve even known RV’ers who bought brand spanking new RV’s, took them on a single trip only to discover that this wasn’t for them — and then found themselves in the unenviable position of trying to sell their purchase at a loss.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.