What to do after you retire

Although it seems that the road may go on forever, I do think sometimes about what will happen after I stop "working." What's my game plan for living a happy fulfilling life, once my everyday routine has disappeared?

We've all read stories about people who retire, then die. Well, maybe not that quickly, but it is easy to see that people who have a plan for their future — not their economic future, but their lifestyle future — seem more likely to thrive in retirement.

So what will bring meaning to your retirement? How should you prepare for your new life? Will you be happy just doing nothing? There are more than a few things to consider.

Most advice about retirement planning focuses on how to save enough money to replace your paycheck.

But work provides us with a lot more than income. Many of us get a sense of meaning, accomplishment and even identity from what we do. Work also provides social connections and a structure for our days.

Losing all that can be disorienting, which is why experts — including some who have already retired — recommend thinking about how you will replace those aspects of work.