What to write in a retirement card

Retirement is a very important milestone in someone’s life and it’s important to mark the occasion, especially if you’re invited to a retirement party. Retirement messages are an excellent way to show that you appreciate the recipient and that you are wishing them all the best for the future. This makes them feel validated and more hopeful about the future.

Written by

Sheila Frampton

What is a good retirement message?

A good retirement message is one that celebrates the retiree, marks their contributions and recognises what they have accomplished during their working life.   Letting someone know that you will miss them and that you hope they keep in touch can make them feel that retirement does not necessarily mean the end of friendships and bonds formed at work.


What should a retirement message include?

Generally, a retirement message should include congratulations or best wishes for future happiness but if you can include something more relevant and personal, something that you have considered, the recipient will feel more appreciated.

How do I personalise a retirement message?

It is important to really think about the retiree – what are their interests – do they play sport, enjoy walking, cycling, climbing, gardening, sailing, golf or fishing.  Do they have a family and, most importantly, do they have a good sense of humour?   If the answer to the latter is no or you’re not sure, then make sure to avoid the more flippant messages.


How do I write a good message for a work colleague?

  • Talk about how much you will miss them.
  • Refer to their hobbies.
  • Choose between a longer message and a short, snappy and humorous message but do make sure they have a sense of humour.


How to write a retirement message to someone you don’t know well

If you don’t know someone well, just keep the message simple, kind and thoughtful, see some of our suggestions below.


Retirement wishes for a friend

If you’re wishing a friend a happy retirement, remind them of shared experiences and the fact that they will have more time to spend with you, to have new adventures and make new memories.

Examples of retirement messages

Longer heartfelt retirement messages for colleagues:

"I just can’t believe that the time has come for you to retire.  Work simply won’t be the same without you and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with you over the last (x) years.  I hope you have a wonderfully happy retirement and that you keep in touch."

"Congratulations on your retirement.  I am grateful for everything you have done for me over the last (x) years and I will miss working with you.  Enjoy your freedom and don’t forget to keep in touch."

Shorter retirement messages for colleagues:

"Wishing you all the best in your retirement.  Knowing you, you’ll be busier than ever but now you’ll be doing the things you love."

"I’ve loved working with you and it’s an honour to help you celebrate your retirement.  Congratulations – and enjoy."

"Nothing but the best – that’s what you’ve always given and that’s what we wish you on your retirement."

"We love all that you’ve done – now go and do all that you love."

"Work won’t be the same without you – missing you already."

"The way you’ve put your heart into your work for all these years is inspirational.  You’ve made a huge difference and touched a lot of lives along the way."

"If you put as much effort into enjoying your retirement as you have into your work, it’s sure to be a success."

Amusing or funny retirement messages for colleagues

"The best part about being retired is never having to ask for time off."

"Congratulations on your retirement.  You may find the money isn’t as good but the hours are certainly better."

"Welcome to retirement, where every day is a weekend."

"Retirement is fantastic – you can finally do very little without being worried about getting caught."

"Welcome to retirement – the time to enjoy the things you never could before."

"Goodbye tension, hello pension!  Have an amazing retirement."


Hobby related retirement messages

"Have a wonderful retirement.  I’d say enjoy spending more time with (name of partner/spouse) but, let’s be honest, you’ll be spending most of it on the golf course/at the rugby clubhouse/at the sailing club.  Enjoy!"

"Congratulations on your new full-time job – playing golf/fishing/cycling!"

"It’s time to enjoy Mondays again… and Tuesdays… and Wednesdays… in fact every single day you can spend hiking/cycling/dancing/in the gym. Congratulations on your retirement."

"We know that you’ll miss being stuck in the office with us every weekday but we’re pretty confident that all the time spent cycling/sailing/swimming/gardening will make up for it."

"It may be the end of a chapter, but it’s certainly not the end of the book."

"New places to go, new stories to write.  Let the next chapter begin – and enjoy!"

"The mountains/the beach/the hills/the road is calling – at last, you’ll be able to answer.  And please take me with you!"

"After climbing the mountain, you can finally enjoy the view."

"Think about your retirement as two six-month holidays each year."

"Now you’ve finished work, you can go S.K.I.-ing – Spending the Kids’ Inheritance!"

"May your second act be even more enjoyable and inspiring than your first!"

Retirement Message for someone you don’t know well

"Congratulations on your retirement.  I hope you enjoy this new chapter and that you’ll be able to fill it with lots of new adventures."

"Happy retirement – I hope you get to enjoy everything you’ve never had time for before."

"It’s been great working with you.  I'm wishing you a long and very happy retirement."


Retirement messages for a friend

"I can’t believe we’re old enough to retire – but we’ll have so much fun, we’ll feel young again.  Prepare your old joints for new adventures."

"Congratulations! You’ve had a great career and I’m so glad you’ll have more time to spend with your family – and hopefully with me!"

"Congratulations on your retirement.  You’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had.  We have so many happy memories and now I’m looking forward to having the time to make some more."

“Enjoy your retirement.  I’m so proud of you and everything you’ve achieved.  You deserve all the wonderful things to come and I can’t wait to share some of them with you.”

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