Most people’s lives are spent working a 9 to 5 job. It has become part of their daily routine. But it will come to the point that you would want to break free.
Retiring is one of the most satisfying times that people look forward to in their careers. It may seem like the end of their career, but it is a new chapter to be spent with their loved ones. It is the time where one can truly live life. For most people, it is the most awaited milestone of their career.
It is satisfying to see yourself enjoying time with your family without worrying about work. Seeing yourself reading books and doing your favorite leisure activities is a dream to many.
For those who will be left at the company by a retiring colleague, it may be difficult to see a colleague leaving for good, but think of it as a beautiful journey that they are looking forward to. It is an occasion to celebrate.
What would you say to people leaving?
It is hard to find the right words to say to someone who is about to retire. Their life is about to change dramatically. Remember to keep things light and positive.
Here are a few tips to make a fun yet memorable send-off speech:
You could be the closest buddy of the soon-to-be-retiree. By closest, means you have been through a lot as colleagues. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to make your speech tear-jerking by reminiscing all those sad moments. You are asked to send-off the soon-to-be-retiree in the best possible way. It is not a moment to be sad, but a rare occasion to celebrate. It is a new journey that they have been waiting for. For sure, you are also aiming for the same thing, after all.
“Sandwich feedback method” is commonly used in speeches. Unlike the usual sandwich method wherein the negative feedback is enclosed in two praises, here we would turn it into “past, present, future approach.”
Let’s start with the past. Share how they have made an impact on your career and the organization. Share fun stories, lessons learned, and happy moments together.
Your speech should make them feel valued by focusing on how great it was having worked with them. Remember, the focus should be on your retiring colleague, not you or anyone else in the company.
This is an appreciation speech for him. Praise him all you can, but be genuine. Let go of a grudge — if there is any.
Never badmouth a retiring colleague in front of the crowd. You would not want to give bad memories as your send-off gift. Just make this day as something he would treasure as one of the best moments with the company.
Tell how glowing and how positive her aura radiates these past few days. Observe what has changed in the present moment and used it to segue to “future-focused” remarks. Fill it with hope and positivity. Tell how happy and satisfying retirement is.
Keep it short, but meaningful. A pretty good five-minute speech won’t kill the crowd with boredom.
What do you say at a retirement party?
Now, let’s put it the other way around. What would you say if you are the one retiring?
Again, the go-to structure would be the “past-present-future” approach. Start by reminiscing the days when you first arrived at the company. Tell how it has changed through the years. Share fun stories that you had with your colleagues.
Share what you will miss working in the company– make it light and fun. Don’t make things dramatic and heavy for everyone. Say how grateful you are to have worked with them for the past years. The key is to keep it sincere and nostalgic yet humorous.
You may start with a story of how some people helped you get through work back when you were new in the company. Tell it a funny way that is nice to look back into.
As for the “future-focused” remarks, make it all about the business or organization. Don’t focus on yourself. Finish it with a toast of luck and happiness for both parties– and, even better, for everyone.
How to say goodbye at retirement?
There is always good in goodbyes, especially in retirement. Goodbyes mean facing a new chapter and embarking on an exciting journey. There is still something to look forward to in goodbyes.
Retirement means lesser working hours or withdrawing from an active work lifestyle. This word entails different meanings for everyone. But for most of us, it is closely associated with freedom. And that calls for a celebration. This is the end goal of most employees hustling in their day-to-day job.
You may be wondering how to send your regards to a retiring person — be it a colleague or your boss. There are different ways of saying goodbye to a retiring colleague.
Here is a quick rundown for your future reference:
- The usual “send-off” party
- Lunch/dinner gathering
- Email blast
- Sending a note/ letter- this is usually called a medium for “low-key goodbyes.” Let’s be realistic; some are retiring under less ideal circumstances.
In today’s cutthroat industry, some might be forced to retire under less ideal circumstances. But, no matter what happened, always take the high road when leaving the organization. Burning bridges can be very tempting to do in some instances. But, it is best to have your head held high when you cross paths with your colleagues in the future. Creating a goodbye letter with a heavy heart is hard.
Here is a sample letter that you can edit to have a customary retirement letter.
Sample Retirement Letter to Coworkers
Address City, State, Zip Country [if applicable]
Dear [valued colleagues/wonderful co-workers],
As many of you may know, I will be retiring on [date]. It has been [number of] enjoyable years at [company name]. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for all the good memories. All those great memories will be treasured with me into my retired years.
I would be willing to extend my help the best that I can while I am still with the company. [Name of your replacement] and I are working on our turn over, and I am pretty sure she will move this company into great and bigger things.
Again, thank you for [number of years] memorable years spent at [company name]. It was great to have worked with people who share the same passion as I have.
I will continue doing these passions outside work and my usual routine. I am very excited about [post-retirement plan] and share this experience with my family.
With gratitude and appreciation,
[Your signature] [Your printed name]
No matter what your medium is in sending your goodbyes, keep it gracious yet great goodbyes. Never sound like you are filled with regrets and bitterness in your heart.
It would be detrimental to your image and career — in case you are still planning to work after this stint. Compose yourself and keep it a graceful exit. You never know who you will cross paths to in the future.
What to say in a retirement thank you note?
With retirement notes, keep short, simple, and funny, if not sweet. Keep it under five or six words. Be creative and humorous as possible.
The goal here is to leave the company with a bang and smile on their faces. That is how you should leave your mark when you are happy with your retirement.
Here are a few examples to consider:
- Never thought retirement would be this fun! Let’s do this retirement party again.
- This moment would surely be the best moment I will remember in the entire years of being here in this company.
- Thank you! You made my whole stay here an enjoyable journey of growth. Cheers to brighter and better years for us all.
For those who will be sending a thank you note to their soon-to-be retiring friend, here are some ideas for you to use:
- Cheers! Retirement means no boss days.
- Retirement equals freedom!
- Life begins when you retire. Happy retirement!
- This may be an end to your career but the beginning of a wonderful life.
- A well-deserved lifestyle awaits you.
- Happy retirement! May the following days be the best days of your life.
- Dream comes true. Happy retirement!
- Retirement? Cheers to the beginning of your stress-free lifestyle.
Still not satisfied?
What are some good retirement quotes?
Here are the top 3 retirement quotes to make saying goodbye fun and gracious:
- “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” — A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
- “In your retirement years, never drink coffee at lunch; it will keep you aware in the afternoon.” — Unknown
- “He who laughs last at the boss’s jokes probably isn’t far from retirement.” — Unknown
People go into retirement in many ways. Some excited, others scared, because of health and unfortunately some are forced.
One of the best things we can do is help with the send-off in the lightest way possible to accommodate whatever grounds they made the decision to retire on.
Use these tips to help take some of the stress out of trying to find the right words to say.