Retirement is a special time. It’s the next step on life’s journey, when you can start a new career, focus on a hobby, or spend time with the kids and grandkids.
Retirement can also mean big changes, some of them a little scary. If you’ve got friends or co-workers retiring, they’ll appreciate well wishes and words of encouragement as they begin their new adventure. Fill their retirement card with best wishes and kind messages of support to show them you care and that you’re excited for whatever their next chapter might bring.
What are some common retirement messages?
Whether there’s a retirement card going around the office or a retirement party planned, you’ll likely have the opportunity to share congratulations.
Here are a few ways to wish your colleague or family member well after years of hard work.
- Happy Retirement
There’s nothing wrong with a simple retirement wish! Share a line of congrats in a card or with a retirement gift. If you’re not especially close with a coworker who is retiring, a simple “Happy Retirement” is a thoughtful way to show your appreciation for their hard work and devotion to the team.
- Good Health and Good Luck
Retirement can be a wonderful opportunity to explore the world, but it can be a time of uncertainty, too. This is especially true if your colleague has spent most of their career in the same company or industry. Good luck wishes and wishes for good health and wellness are much appreciated as they venture into whatever the next stage of their journey might hold.
- Here’s to New Adventures
For many people, retired life is the first opportunity to travel, try new hobbies, or move to a place they’ve always wanted to live. When you write your best retirement wishes to a co-worker or beloved office friend, don’t view it as a goodbye. Look at it as a send-off to somewhere they’ve always wanted to go. Saying “Here’s to new adventures” creates excitement around the new hobbies and opportunities your friend is most looking forward to pursuing. It’s positive and full of hope and joy, no matter what the future holds.
- Enjoy This New Chapter of Your Life
Change can be scary sometimes — even when it’s stepping away from full-time work — so your friend may appreciate your acknowledging that this is the closing of a chapter. This message does that, while also conveying all there is to celebrate after retirement and years of hard work. If you’re looking to add a little something special to this phrase, consider pairing your retirement wish with a book about embracing change and new opportunities.
- Embrace Your Newfound Freedom!
This one’s an important reminder that retirement isn’t an end but the beginning of something wonderful. When we work hard to create a life for ourselves and our loved ones, it often means that our own wishes and interests get pushed to the side.
With the dawning of retirement days, your friend will have the free time and opportunity to pursue the hobbies and interests that really appeal to them. This message is a reminder to enjoy and embrace that freedom.
- Cheers To a New Beginning
Retirements is an ending, it’s true. But it’s also a new beginning — a chance for your family member or friend to focus on the things that really bring them joy, like travel, writing books, creating art, or learning new instruments. It’s never too late in life to try something new, and retirement is the perfect chance for your friend to embrace all the pleasures they didn’t have time or energy for in their workaday past.
- We’ll Miss You
Of course, you want to let your colleague know that their presence in the office was special and important. To personalize this simple phrase, reference their sense of humor, positive attitude, or how they always encouraged their team.If someone has had a special impact on you personally or professionally, be sure to let them know that their legacy remains at the office and that you’ll think of them after they leave. After all, when we work in close environments, we can become good friends with our colleagues and co-workers. That’s why it can truly feel like a loss when they leave the office.
- Retirement Quotes
Quotes are a wonderful way to share personalized sentiments with your coworker. Find quotes from authors, musicians, or philosophers that resonate with your friend and the new journey they’ll be taking. One of my personal favorites is this one from Dick Van Dyke: “I found out retirement means playing golf, or I don’t know what the hell it means. But to me, retirement means doing what you have fun doing.”
If you know that your friend is going on a journey, starting something new, or simply embracing their newfound freedom, consider poems or quotes related to what that journey might hold for them. This quote by author Jonathan Lockwood Huie is a great example: “Celebrate endings — for they precede new beginnings.”
A quote is a way to personalize, encourage, and support your friend or loved one on whatever the next step of their adventure may hold. There are so many different quotes to share regarding themes of change, personal evolution, and adventure, you’re sure to find one that best fits your friend.
- Use Humor
Who doesn’t love office humor? With so many emotions around retirement, your friend will likely appreciate a bit of levity. Funny retirement wishes lighten the mood and boost the celebratory spirit of the moment. Comics and illustrations related to office life and retirement are one way to go. You could also give a card referencing something funny that happened in the office. Just be sure to personalize the jokes or comics to fit their style of humor.
- A Personal Story
If you feel particularly close with the person who is retiring, let them know that they’ve been a great friend. Share a story of a time when they helped you, made you smile, or did something really special. Anecdotes show their impact and let them know that they won’t be forgotten. If appropriate, share the story at the retirement party. If not, tuck it into a greeting card for them to read later. However you share your personal anecdote about their influence and importance in your life, they’re sure to appreciate it.
Before we retire….
Retirement is a complex time with so much to celebrate and so many opportunities to embrace. For many, it’s the chance to step back from work and enjoy the things in life that make them the happiest, like time spent with children and grandchildren or adventures in new places.
It’s also, however, a period of great change, and those retiring from their industry or a company they’ve been with for a long time may feel uncertain about their next steps. That’s why it’s important that friends and co-workers share words of encouragement, humor, and support to let them know about the influence they’ve made on the company and those who work there. However you share your messages and retirement good wishes, they’re sure to appreciate your kindness and support as they take the first step on the next great adventure.