I recently decided that it was time to move our wireless router into the basement. The reason was that the router, affected by the summer heatwave, began to overheat and shut down the internet. Not good since our entire house has some use for the internet in one way or the other. In the process, I moved everything into the basement, including rewiring the ethernet hard-line and moving a computer down there. Having sketched out the entire change in advance, I knew that it “should” all work out. This way, I could cut down on the time and effort of figuring it out in real time. Once I routed all the wiring and hardware, I turned it all on. The system worked as it should and was humming to life. Blissful happiness surrounded me because, as often happens, there is always something that goes wrong. I headed back upstairs and shut off the power switch to the overhead lights. Upstairs I sat down at the computer to utilize my handy work. Wait a minute! The wireless network was down. Huh?
Back downstairs, I went to turn on the lights. I looked at the router, and it was all on. Interesting? Back upstairs after turning off the lights, I sat back down at the computer. The wireless was off again. Could the router be overheating down there in the cool basement? Back down, I went with my iPad to monitor at what point the router turned off. Back on, the lights went, and sure enough, as I made my way to the router, I hit the connect button and up it came. I sat there for 15 minutes, and the whole time the wireless stayed on. Nothing was wrong. It was working perfectly. So it must have been something that was affecting the router, but it worked itself out. Back up I went, turning off the lights and sitting back down at the computer. The wireless network was no longer there. Exasperated now, I slumped my shoulders and stared at the computer. Why, oh why was this happening? What was I doing wrong?
One last time I went downstairs and never turned on the lights. Immediately I knew what the issue was. I was consistently turning the power off to the entire system each time I shut off the lights. The system was working; I was just sabotaging the power source. Simple now that I realized the issue. I only bring this up because we often fall prey to the easiest and simplest things causing major issues in a well-thought-out and executed plan. Financially speaking, we need to create and execute a plan, but we also need to make sure that it works effectively. So down the road, there is nothing that can affect the overall outcome. There is nothing worse than figuring out that a small detail could ultimately derail your financial future. Having a good hold on what is happening and what could, in turn, change your plan outcome can make all the difference in a comfortable retirement and one where you need to work through retirement just to make it.
That one switch I was flipping shut down the entire system on me. It was not the most obvious thing, but the system began to work as it should once I knew it. Recognizing the faults in your financial plan may not be the easiest task. However, preparing for the unknown and hedging your bets can create a successful and well-maintained financial plan. There is nothing more important. Forgetting that the simplest thing may mess with the works can be your financial future’s, Achilles Heel.