The Challenger & The Cost

Posted: February 15, 2016 at 7:40 pm by Skip Kelley

An engineer had warned his superiors six months earlier of the potential danger but his efforts went ignored. The engineer tried again to warn his superiors on the morning of the launch.

It was colder than normal, the rubber O-rings that seal the joints of the shuttle’s rocket boosters were vulnerable to failure due to the low temperatures. But for some reason, the engineer’s superiors disregarded the warning and moved forward with the launch.

30 years ago today, Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight. Seven crew members lost their lives that day. It was a shock to so many at the time and it still is to this day. If you remember watching this event, whether in person, on the TV or found a recording on the internet, it was a terrifying moment for our country and our people. Between the roar of the shuttle’s takeoff, the billowing exhaust plume trailing in the blue sky and the sound barrier being broken, people could not clearly make out what exactly was happening. Did something go wrong or is this just the expected commotion of a space shuttle launch? Immediately, though, some of NASA’s personnel there realized the gravity of what just happened that the families had not yet.

Chaos and confusion rippled through NASA’s launch control center and panic began to set in all around the nation. But why did this happen? How could the perfection of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center let this happen? Countless precautionary measures were taken; the expert engineers, double if not triple checked every necessary nook and cranny before the mission and yet a mistake was made because a warning was disregarded.

It may seem crazy to ignore such a serious warning yet in our personal lives there are warnings all the time that we brush to the side, thinking things will just work out and labeling them unimportant. Whether it be about our health, our livelihood or our financial situation, it’s easier to think of the good things and be in the moment rather than to stop, reassess the situation and make sure it is perfect as it seems. It’s a false sense of security that we create ourselves – out of sight out of mind.

Let’s take a view on the financial side of things. If you had a million dollars ready to invest, had a plan in place, income setup for life, the best interest rates on the market and were en route to a happy, worry-free retirement when you saw there was a missing peace to the puzzle, would you ignore it and continue on? Would you be happy if your trusted adviser ignored the warning signs? Your financial security and peace of mind is not something that can be brushed to the side. A well rounded plan has to meet every specification, every requirement and every measurement to the thousandth degree in order for it to work properly for you. Your life and well-being are just as important as the O-rings on the Challenger shuttle.

If you feel that your financial O-ring isn’t snugly fit for the launch of your retirement, if your current plan has changed or a new event has occurred in your life, give me a call and we will get your back on track where you started.

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