How to Write a Card for Retirement

Retirement sentiments can be tricky. Oftentimes, the retiree has mixed emotions about leaving the workforce and may take offense to a message you meant with all the best intentions. How to write a card for retirement will depend upon the person you are giving it to. You'll need to put some thought into who he or she is, and how the retiree feels about retiring. Armed with that knowledge, you can craft the perfect message to fit the situation.


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    Reflect on who you are writing a retirement message to, and use that as the basis for your message. For example, a message to your retiring father might be a lot different than a message to your next-door neighbor's wife.
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    Choose a tone for the message which suits both your personality and that of the receiver. If you're funny, and the retiree is happy about retiring, be lighthearted and opt for a humorous quote or memory. If he or she is sad about retiring, try a joke to lift his or her spirits. Similarly, if the mood is somber, look for something inspirational or heartfelt. Be sensitive to the recipient's feelings, no matter what they are, and let that guide your choice.
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    Purchase a retirement card that matches the message and tone. You can find these at any card store or many drug or grocery stores.
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    Begin your message with "congratulations." No matter what the sentiment, congratulations should always be offered, as retirement is an achievement that takes years of hard work, literally. You can opt to include how happy you are for the recipient, how glad you are he or she is joining you in retirement, or you can express that you're jealous. Choose whatever best fits the situation.
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    Recall personal memories from work that you have with the retiree. Consider any lessons the person taught you, any guidance he or she offered or meaningful advice, and include what the retiree meant to you in the card. Similarly, if your message is humorous, include stories or memories of how the person made you laugh or did something funny that you will remember after his or her retirement.


  • Writing retirement messages for someone you don't care for can be a difficult task. If you don't like the person, avoid saying or sending anything. If you still want to send a card, opt for a simple "happy retirement" message. Being cruel to someone you likely won't see again hurts the person and is not beneficial.
  • Consider including messages from coworkers, family, friends, or anyone else who knows the retiree. Messages from a group are often well-received, and your retiree may really appreciate hearing from a group of people who care about him or her.


  • Whereas a lighthearted reference to being jealous is acceptable, expressing anger, resentment, or any negative or cruel remarks are never okay for any situation, including retirement.

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Categories: Retirement