How to Wish Someone a Happy Retirement

Retirement is an important milestone in life. Knowing how to wish someone a happy retirement will let you express your best wishes in a way that will long be remembered and appreciated by the new retiree.


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    Determine if the retiree would enjoy a large party or prefer a small quiet gathering. Perhaps he or she would simply like to slip out the back door with little fanfare. In that case, a card signed by fellow employees or friends and family will suffice.
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    Discover if the person who is retiring is happy about doing so or if he's anxious or depressed about it. That will determine the tone of the farewell.
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    Plan a party. The party can be held at the work place, in a hired hall, or in the local bar for drinks, depending on the person who is being honored and the situation.
    • The person or persons giving a toast or making a speech should keep the remarks both touching and humorous. Retirement parties often recap what the person did during his years at the organization.
    • Be aware of the person's health and plans. If he can't wait to retire and embark on a trip to Spain, for instance, work that into the theme of the party. The avid golfer who now has plenty of time to pursue his favorite sport will appreciate being reminded of that fact. When honoring a retiree who is quitting because of poor health, however, you should emphasize past accomplishments instead of focusing on the future.
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    Invite the appropriate people to the party.
    • Family, friends, and present and past colleagues are people you won't want to forget to invite.
    • If the retiree dealt with special clients or other important professionals outside the company, be sure to include them on the guest list.
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    Commemorate the event.
    • Videotape the party or event so the retiree can view it again later.
    • Prepare an audio-visual presentation about the person's accomplishments and work history that can be shown on a monitor sitting on a table, or projected onto a large screen for all at the party to watch. Loop it to play continuously. Include photographs of the person both at work and at home with family. Add in photos of other important events such as a memorable trip or the birth of a grandchild.
    • Provide a blank memory book for guests to sign and encourage them to write down their memories of the past and good wishes for the future.
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    Adjust the level of humor. Humor can be an important element in saying goodbye to someone who is retiring, but fit the humor to the person and situation.
    • Roast a colleague who enjoys bawdy or teasing humor. The company's practical joker, for example, might especially enjoy a round of robust humor from his co-workers.
    • Moderate the humor for someone who could become offended easily or who is finding the idea of retirement challenging.
    • Make sure the atmosphere of the retirement party always keeps a sense of dignity. The main focus is to honor the retiree.
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    Choose the right gift if gifts are being given. Instead of giving the ubiquitous watch, give something personal and meaningful to the recipient. A keepsake box filled with mementos from the job might be an idea. Think about the person's hobbies and interests to help you choose the right gift.
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    Strive to keep in touch. Give guests the retiree's contact information.
    • Set up a website, if possible, where former employees can keep everyone updated about what is going on in their lives. Use a social website to keep up with the retiree.
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    Contact your newly retired friend. If you are already successfully retired, feel free to give tips and make suggestions about how to adjust. Try to be around for lunch or an activity.
    • Finding themselves suddenly alone with hours of free time can make many retirees anxious and depressed. Scheduled gatherings will give them something to look forward to. Remind them that you are happy and they can be too.
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    Visit your newly retired family member. Invite them to take a trip with you or to visit your family.
    • Let them know that this is a new, exciting stage of life, not an end. Let them know you are happy for them and wish them a happy, fulfilling retirement.

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Categories: Retirement