What to Write in a Retirement Card

Woman hand writing greeting card at home
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Do you know someone who has retired or is about to retire? Whether it’s your parents, siblings, distant relatives, friends, coworkers, or someone you do business with, sending them a retirement card is a thoughtful thing to do. 

You may or may not include it with a gift. That should be determined by your relationship with the retiree. Just make sure that if you give a gift to a coworker that it's appropriate for the office.

The Tone of the Retirement Card Message

Most people have mixed emotions about retiring. Some folks are happy about having more free time, but they’re sad that they won’t see their work buddies every day. Other people might worry about their self-worth after they’re no longer working.

It’s important to maintain a positive tone in your card. There is nothing wrong with injecting some humor, as long as you know the person well enough to determine what they find funny.

Important Parts of a Retirement Card

There are several things you need to include in your card. Of course, you’ll want to address the person by name. Next, offer a congratulatory message. After all, this should be a time of celebration.

After that, write something specific to the person as it pertains to your relationship. You may want to include a favorite memory or mention something special that the person did for you.

Next, conclude your message on a positive wish for the future. If the retiree plans to travel, this could be included. Or if the person plans to spend more time with the grandchildren, mention that.

Finally, you’ll want to sign your name with another positive word or two to close. Some examples are, “Best wishes,” “Bon voyage,” “Many blessings,” or “Happy trails.”

Retirement Message for a Parent

When you write something to one of your parents, you can be as intimate as you want. Here is an example of a retirement message to one of your parents:

Dear Mom,

Major congrats on your retirement! You have always worked so hard for the family, and now it’s your turn to enjoy life to the fullest. Sleep as late as you want and eat lunch when you feel like it. I’m so proud of you for all you’ve accomplished!

Love you bunches,


Retirement Message for a Boss

If your boss is about to retire, she’ll appreciate getting a thoughtful note from her team. Here’s a message she’ll enjoy reading:

Dear Ms. Cooper,

Wishing you the best for your retirement. It’s been an honor to be on your team, and the department will never be the same without you. We’ll miss you, but we hope you enjoy your endless vacation.

Cheers from your crew,

Linda, John, Dana, and George

Retirement Message for a Coworker

Since most people spend more waking hours beside coworkers than their family members, this can be a very sad occasion. However, remember to stay positive in your message. Here is an example of how to word a retirement message to the person from the next cubicle:

Dear Megan,

Happy retirement! I’m not sure what I’ll do without your morning jokes that never failed to bring sunshine into everyone’s day. Somehow, we’ll cope. Since you’re now in charge of setting your schedule, I hope you give me a call for lunch soon. We can catch up, and you can make me jealous by telling me all the fun things you’re doing.

Enjoy every moment,


Retirement Message Ideas

Regardless of your relationship with the new retiree, your message needs to show how much you think of him or her. Here are some examples of more things you might want to include:

  • You’ve worked long and hard for many years, so it’s time to focus on enjoying every day exactly the way you want to. Best wishes on your retirement!
  • Here’s wishing you the best retirement with many years of joy!
  • Congratulations on this huge accomplishment! I hope you have a wonderful retirement with many blessings!
  • Now it’s time to reap the rewards of all that hard work. Enjoy retirement to the fullest!
  • Happy retirement to one of the most awesome people I know. Now you get to do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it. 
  • Cheers to your retirement! Have fun, enjoy life, and don’t forget to call every once in a while.

Humorous Retirement Messages

If you have a relationship with the retiree that lends itself to humor, by all means, use it. Here are some funny comments you might want to add:

  • Enjoy retirement. But if you get bored, give me a call. I’m sure there’s something you can do … like lunch with us.
  • Now that our race to retirement is over, I have to give you the award. You won! Congratulations!
  • I’m having a difficult time writing this retirement message to you. Jealousy does that to a person. Seriously, enjoy your retirement, but think about us often.
  • Now that you’ve begun retirement, you can keep hitting the snooze button on your clock until you’re good and ready to get up.
  • Now that you’re retiring, you need to keep a strict schedule: get up, have coffee, call your friends, see the grandkids, have lunch with friends, shop a little, go online and book a cruise …. So exhausting! If you ever get tired of retirement, give me a call, and I’ll make you feel much better about it.
  • Now you don’t have any reason to know what day of the week it is. Enjoy your endless weekend!

Retirement Quotes

If you want to include some quotes from famous people, there are plenty to choose from. Here are a few that are funny:

  • “There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” ~Bill Watterson
  • “When a man retires, his wife gets twice the husband but only half the income.” ~Chi Chi Rodriguez
  • “The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” ~Abe Lemons
  • “I enjoy waking up and not having to go to work. So I do it three or four times a day.” ~Gene Perret
  • “You have to put off being young until you can retire.” ~Author unknown

Remembering the Retiree

Don’t forget about the person after her retirement. In other words, don’t just give lip service to having lunch in the future; actually do it. If she doesn’t already have your phone number, include that in the message.