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Posted on August 28, 2017

Eclipse Planning

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Published by Mark Petersen and the Carson Institutional Alliance Investment Committee

One in 256,481,280. No, I am not calculating the odds of winning the Powerball Lottery. This is the number of 50 square foot sections to view Totality for the 2017 Solar Eclipse in the state of Nebraska. So many choices! How does one decide? Let’s briefly review the thought process:

  1. Avoid Interstate 80 and any other high-traffic corridors, including the NASA selected site of Homestead Monument in Beatrice, Nebraska.
  2. Travel on Highway 92 running West from Omaha and identify accessible cities and towns in the path of Totality.
  3. Determine length of Totality in potential locations.
  4. Determine travel time to various selected sites.
  5. Review weather reports for possible cloud cover and/or rain potential.

Using the criteria listed, six sites were ultimately selected for potential optimal viewing. It wasn’t until Monday morning when the final destination would be selected. Morning weather reports indicated that two things would be necessary to get the best view:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Mobility

It was indicated that western Nebraska would have the best weather for a clear view. This confirmed the final destination would be the furthest West location which was the closest to Highway 92, St. Paul, Nebraska, with just over a two-hour drive time and two minutes and three seconds of Totality. Traffic was modest and moved at the posted speed limit. The public ball field, previously identified as a potential viewing spot, was surveyed and determined to be a good choice. A few high clouds dispersed, resulting in a clear blue sky before the eclipse began. The return drive had slightly heavier but, again, modest traffic with minimal delays and travel at the posted speed limit. What a perfect adventure!

Why did this occur? Planning.

At Carson Institutional Alliance, we know that planning is a state of mind, as well as a process.  Life is comprised of choices and trade-off decisions. Our goal is to put in the time, up-front, to consider the options which may minimize downside risk and maximize the potential for success, resulting in making the best choice possible, given the information available.

By utilizing a planning process to set a clear objective and path toward achievement, there was no possible downside for me in selecting the Eclipse viewing location. At worst, a cloudy sky would have resulted in an opportunity to spend significant quality time with my wife. At best, I would experience a ‘once in a lifetime event’ while spending quality time with my wife. A no-lose proposition, in either case. After all, isn’t that the position we all want to be in, no matter what choices we make? Experience the planning process with us, call your Wealth Advisor today to get started.

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