It's scary to think about retirement. It's usually like the Roach Motel: You can check in but you can't check out.

The following may help you decide whether to retire and what you'll want to do in retirement. 

Should you retire?

See how many of the below items you agree with.

  • I've analyzed my finances, perhaps with an accountant, and am confident I can afford to retire.
  • I feel my job would be in better hands if someone else did it, perhaps with my helping my successor transition.
  • I feel I should completely retire rather than with a glide path, in which I gradually reduce my work responsibilities.
  • If I'll be spending more time with my romantic partner after retiring, that will be good for both of us.

Reviewing the list of retirement activities below makes me feel good about retiring.

What you'll do in retirement

Here are things that many people do in retirement:

  • Volunteering: For example, join a nonprofit board or get active in a religious institution.
  • Visual art: Even if you're no Rembrandt, perhaps you'd find it fun to do  photography, perhaps around a theme you care about, such as nature, poverty, psychologically rich faces, etc.
  • Theater: Community theaters are always looking for volunteers to participate by acting (Okay, maybe not starring for a while but in minor roles or the ensemble,) building sets, making costumes, finding props, helping with marketing and ticket sales, ushering, running the lights and sound, which are easier than you might think.
  • Performing: Want to reveal your inner ham? How about singing, perhaps starting at home in the shower then graduating to performing for friends, then on open-mike night, or joining a choir, religious or not. Or take up magic, juggling or both. Think you're funny? Try writing and delivering a two-minute stand-up routine.
  • Writing:  Want to write a book of poems? How about a blog? A blog enhanced with video you took on your phone? Or maybe you want to think big: a book, perhaps your memoir, your message to the next generation, or the Great American Novel.