Weekend Reading: A Holocaust Survivor’s Financial Planning Advice

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading holocaust survivors financial planning advice Weekend reading holocaust survivors financial planning advice
Weekend Reading

In his book, titled Man’s Search for Meaning, holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl, wrote: “Don’t aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…”


Immeasurable emotions: Simply put, happiness (and success) must happen. They cannot be measured in numbers, and therefore, impossible to guarantee. On the flip side, however, both are what many of us innately desire, and often how we compare ourselves to others. You might wonder: Is their career/retirement/investment account more successful than mine? But the reality is, success is a fleeting feeling, not a fact, and there will always be someone else you perceive as having a higher “score card” than you.

Beyond the data: It was Viktor Frankl’s belief that you are most likely to enjoy the fruits of your labor if you’re laboring on behalf of something or someone other than yourself. As such, happiness is also found in being part of something that is beyond you. This isn’t to say that the quantitative measures you view in relation to your financial life (investable assets, rate of return, etc.) do not hold value, but instead, that they should be connected and attached to something more meaningful in your life (i.e: Your purpose).

Focus on you + your purpose: Your happiness should be independent of the financial successes of those around you. Tying meaning to your financial life is the key.