As others have said, I think retirement was Michael's best option.
In the eyes of many less knowledgeable fans, Michael Schumacher was the undisputed best ever driver in F1. In this respect, his time at Mercedes must have done some damage to the Schumacher legend.
There is no doubt that Michael was always very fast in a car but his time up against Niko ( who I don't think is an absolutely top class driver ), has confirmed what a lot of us always thought.
Many, including myself, regard Michael as one of maybe ten to fifteen great drivers including Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton from the modern era. I think it's impossible to definitively say more than that about him.
Michael became the most successful F1 driver in the history of the sport because he benefited from a unique situation which he helped to nurture and that can never be repeated :
After years in the doldrums, Ferrari assembled one of the best-ever design teams and a management structure that put winning above any consideration of good sportsmanship.
The team was further backed by a huge budget and fantastic facilities including their own test track which the rules permitted them to use to the full.
Fiorano alone gave them a substantial advantage over every other team, as did their privileged relationships with the FIA and Bridgestone whose tyres were designed very much with Ferrari in mind.
Michael was further helped by having clear No 1 status compared with the equal No 1 status given to drivers from the British teams like Williams and McLaren.
Comparisons of race wins with drivers from previous eras like Fangio, Jim Clark and Stirling Moss are not valid because Michael competed in far more F1 races in each season so that increased his opportunities to score wins and accrue an enormous tally of points over his long career.
Great improvements in safety. led by Sid Watkins, also paid their part here because many potentially great careers tragically ended early. ( Ronnie Petersen for one )
None of this is designed to detract from Michael's achievements, which were many, but they need to be appreciated and put into perspective against this background.
Michael continues to be lucky, he has a strong family, the money and status to have a wonderful life and nothing more to prove.
I hope he comes to appreciate this, puts racing behind him and has a well deserved, long and happy retirement.
I assure you that the vast majority of drivers, including Alonso who is trying the same thing now, and Hamilton who seems to be having similar ambitions with MGP would love to create this apparently unrepeatable situation that Micheal benefited from. So many, quasi men of wisdom, as yourself, try to play this down. Follow Fangio, the next in line with a run of championships and you'll see that he also benefited from competitive machinery and submissive teammates. Senna gravitated towards competitive machinery as well and would have done anything to be in Michael's position of competitiveness.
Michael's retirement speech was really of high impact and from a man who has seen a lot, experienced a lot and has fully assimilated his experience. He's remarkably well developed and I'm deeply happy about this for him. What an inspiration he is from this POV! The fact that he would consider to continue links with MGP makes it clear that, as per usual, we aren't aware of the full picture and that things aren't the way as they are being said to be by the media and on these fora. I especially liked his view on his indecision being taken care of by life when the unlikely prospect of Hamilton coming to MGP popped up; an unlikely prospect that a team like MGP, in the position they are now, simply cannot pass up. His allowing things to evolve the way they did is quite something.
Living by convictions and not caring what others feel? Well, he has certainly demonstrated this in spades.
The support and freedom allowed by his family for him to live his dream? Again, a great thing and deserving since he's definitely had so many rough times. He knows that it's not about the money and good for him. The only way to know this is to have a LOT of it while truly living and observing. It's funny how things have come full circle in that the person thought to have the least personality early in his career, is now quietly demonstrating a lot of depth; a lot more than those before him who have been so vocal with the obvious need to feel noticed and lauded.
I don't think his comeback was a failure. His comeback allowed the F1 world to see this other side of him; to see how he handled racing without the sort of success he enjoyed before. I'm happy that it occurred in this order. Better for him and better for us who truly watch and listen to him.
With all that's said, I'm fully aware that he's NOT perfect and continues not to be. However, all we ask is that one develops and what's life's purpose without the journey of personal development and the achievements that assist this process? He does so and quietly too while so many fuss about it.
I do wish him all the best and I'll have to again readjust to enjoying F1 without his presence on the grid.