The view up there will be amazing…. You will be the envy of many once you get to a position of reaching an adequate orbit – no crashing and burning and no spiraling off into space… But guess what? The trip isn’t over yet…. Maintaining an adequate orbit is also needed for long term reserve budgeting.
Remember that giant rocket that got you into space well there are small rockets to keep you up there; always making small and typically very tolerable adjustments. There will undoubtable be unpredictable and unplanned factors when budgeting for reserves:
- Periods of high inflation - the current time period is a great example of this.
- Economic downturns – during which times raising dues will be difficult.
- Components that do not last as long as predicted, poor installation, poor maintenance, weather, geographical factors, etc.
- High use by membership – (e.g., pools, recreation centers).
- Vandalism, etc., etc., etc.
The benefit of reaching a high enough orbit that your community is considered to be well funded is that these unpredictable and unplanned factors typically only have a modest impact on things. No need to go back to the hangar, just hit that booster rocket to move a little this way move a little that way… just another day at the office.
Conversely a community that never reaches an adequate orbit and is always battling to get there will also encounter these unpredictable/unplanned factors but will usually have to rely on special assessments, loans or deferring projects to deal with them. This is why it’s considered high risk to remain at a low level of funding for a long period of time. Constantly going back to the hangar and never seeing the show…