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What to Write in a Retirement Card (72 Wishes, Quotes, Sentiments and Messages)

So you picked you the best retirement gift and now it’s time to write the card. In this post, you’ll find 72 ready to use messages, wishes, and quotes, plus tips for customizing what to write in a retirement card. Plus 5 things to never write in a retirement card.

what to write in a retirement card

What to Write in a Retirement Card: Quick Quote Guide

Sometimes it’s challenging to know what to write in a retirement card. Fear not! We have scoured the internet and come up with 72 of the best messages you can add to a retirement card.

And that’s not all. We’ve also added some tips for what to write and what NOT to write in a retirement card. Check out the following 72 quotes you can write in a retirement card.

72 retirement quotes? Yes, I know – that’s a lot. If you want a shortcut, just choose the one bolded message in each section. These are my favorites and should make the process much faster.

14 Retirement Wishes and Congratulations

  1. “Cherish every moment you’ll spend outside work. It’s time to enjoy your life. Happy Retirement!”
  2. “I hope retirement brings you the chance to do whatever it is that you always wanted to do but didn’t get to. All the best!”
  3. “May all the years ahead bring you great joy and relaxation.”
  4. “Here’s to a well-deserved and happy retirement! Enjoy.”
  5. “Best wishes for an awesome retirement. Here’s hoping for a fun, rewarding and restful life.”
  6. “Enjoy your newfound freedom and make the most of it. Happy retirement.”
  7. “Many congrats – here’s to a long, healthy and happy retirement.”
  8. “We know your retirement days will be truly special if you put as much effort into retirement that you did at our office. You’re the best!”
  9. “Congratulations on retiring! Make sure you relax, have fun and stop by and see us sometime.”
  10. “Congratulations on a well deserved retirement!”
  11. “Enjoy the freedom your dedication and hard work have earned you. Congrats!”
  12. “Wishing you a wonderful retirement. Enjoy this new chapter of your life and we hope it’s filled with good health, relaxation, and fun!”
  13. “I hope your retirement is the best time of your life! Enjoy!”
  14. “May the retired life bring you all the relaxation and joy you can handle. Congratulations on your achievement!”

13 Retirement Messages for Coworkers and Bosses

  1. “It’s great to see someone retire who is as deserving as you. Make sure you work just as hard at relaxing as you have in your long career.”
  2. “You can be taken out of the workforce, but the workforce can never be taken out of you. I am confident you’ll never stop working on things you love.”
  3. “Thank you for being a tireless professional, a helpful coworker, and a good friend. Now go and relax!”
  4. “You will be remembered for the things that you did here. Thanks for your years of hard work and dedication. Congratulations on your retirement.”
  5. “We’ll miss you. You are one of a kind and not easily replaced.”
  6. “Having someone like you as a coworker has been no less than a gift. Wishing you a wonderful retired life ahead! You will be missed but never forgotten.”
  7. “You are one of the hardest workers I have ever known. You deserve a great retirement, but I know you will still keep yourself busy.”
  8. “It was great working with you—your work truly made a lasting impact, and one that has changed the company for the better in so many ways. Congratulations on your retirement!”
  9. “For the person who gave their best, cheers to your retirement! May you have the best and most fulfilling one. Enjoy!”
  10. “Congratulations on your retirement! You’ve accomplished so much in this company and we truly appreciate your effort and dedication. Wishing you all the best in your retirement.”
  11. “You’ve been a valued member of our team, and we wish you the very best.”
  12. “We still can’t imagine working here without you, but I guess we’ll have to manage somehow. Thank you for your years of dedicated service.”
  13. “Retirement is the reward you get for putting up with coworkers like me for many years. I wish you the best!”
Funny retirement quotes

14 Funny Retirement Quotes

  1. “Congratulations on your retirement! If you get bored, you know you can call and hang out with us.”
  2. “Congratulations! The money is no better in retirement, but the hours sure are.”
  3. “I hope you’re looking forward to the feeling of never having to go to bed at night and set an alarm again.”
  4. “Goodbye tension, hello pension!”
  5. “Remember retirement is an adventure! Especially if you count trekking out of bed, climbing on sofas and diving into takeout. Have fun.”
  6. “Now that you’ve gone through birth, crawling, walking, school, and many years of work, you can finally relax!”
  7. “Congratulations on extending your weekends by 5 days!”
  8. “Retirement is great – you can finally do nothing without being worried about getting caught.”
  9. “Happy retirement… think of it as a six month holiday, twice a year.”
  10. “Have fun doing the things you always wanted to… as long as you’re not too old to remember them!”
  11. “It’s been great working with you. Remember to relax and have fun, and avoid anything that resembles work for as long as possible.”
  12. “Retirement isn’t really all that great as it sounds. No pressure from the boss, zero deadlines, no company meetings to enjoy haha. Enjoy it while you can, stop by and see us sometime.”
  13. “Extra hours, hectic Mondays, horrible coffee and the endless countdown to the weekends. We know you’ll miss all of that, but it’s time to move on to something even more pleasurable! Happy Retirement!”
  14. “Congratulations on your retirement! Now you’ll have more time for sleeping in, fishing, reading, and golfing… unless you want to trade places with me?”
Retirement sentiments

Need to fill out a graduation card? Here’s what to write in a graduation card.

8 Retirement Quotes for Friends and Family

  1. “Don’t forget to spend a little of your extra time with us. We’re so happy for you!”
  2. “We’re glad that you are retiring, and we are looking forward to spending more time with you. Best wishes!”
  3. “I am so glad you’re retiring after years of dedication and hard work. Now you can work with me on ticking off our bucket list.”
  4. “Now that you are done making the world a better place through your career, you have bigger and better things to focus on. You can make a big difference in your grandkids’ lives. We’re looking forward to spending some of your extra time with you.”
  5. “Expect me to drop the grandkids off a lot more often now that I know you will have a lot more time.”
  6. “I am grateful for the dedication you have had for our family, which translated to dedication to your job.”
  7. “We are so glad to see you get your turn at relaxing after raising a family and working so many years!”
  8. “Just because you are leaving the workforce doesn’t mean you won’t have a boss. You’ll still have someone to tell you what to do at home.”

14 Sentimental Retirement Sentiments

  1. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without you. Thanks for everything.”
  2. “The office won’t be the same without you! You’ll be missed every day.”
  3. “Wishing you happiness beyond retirement. You will be greatly missed!”
  4. “Thank you for being a mentor, friend and one of the hardest workers I know. Enjoy retirement!”
  5. “I cannot imagine the past [X] years without you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us.”
  6. “Thank you for taking the time to mentor me when I was new. Congratulations!”
  7. “Thanks for being such a great coworker and a great friend. I’m glad you’ll still be my friend, even though I’m losing you as a coworker.”
  8. “Out of all the bosses in the world, I am honored to say I worked for you. May your retirement be even better than time spent here!”
  9. “You have been a true treasure to your coworkers and this company. You will be missed. We hope your retirement is wonderful!”
  10. “You have been a valued asset at this company, and we are sad to see you go.”
  11. “We’re going to miss you at work. We will never forget the happiness you brought us all!”
  12. “We know your retirement days will be truly special if you put as much effort into retirement that you did at our office. You’re the best!”
  13. “Having a wonderful person like you as my co-worker has been a gift. I personally wish you a very pleasant retirement. You will be deeply missed and never forgotten.”
  14. “I hope you have a wonderful retirement! You will be missed but never forgotten. You’ve done so much for all of us.”

9 Sarcastic Retirement Quotes

While these will make some retirees laugh, be careful. If you don’t know the person well, you stand to insult – or even make an enemy. Use with caution! 🙂

  1. “Well done on staying alive so long that your company had to force you to retire.”
  2. “Happy retirement. Enjoy old age, fragile bones, doctor visits, medical check-ups and a weak bladder!”
  3. “Good luck in retirement. I think we’ve all been able to tell for a while that the wheels are still spinning, but the hamster is slowing down.”
  4. “Statistically you’re now more likely to die than if you’d carried on working. All the best!”
  5. “Good luck in retirement. We’re all going to really miss doing your work for you.”
  6. “Good decision to retire – you best go now before they find all your mistakes.”
  7. “Congratulations on your retirement! Although to be honest, I could have sworn you stopped working years ago.”
  8. “Aren’t you glad you stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man?”
  9. “Just think. Retirement is the last life milestone before you… Never mind.”
Retirement wishes

Not sure how to properly wrap a present? Check out this guide: How to Wrap a Present Perfectly

4 Things to Consider in Your Retirement Message:

1. Who is the retirement card for?

Is the retirement card for a coworker, a boss, an employee, a relative or friend? Knowing who the card is intended for is important because it will help you determine the most appropriate words for the message.

  • For example, if you don’t know the retiree well enough to know how they might receive a personal sentiment, you can use generic well-wishes such as: “Wishing you a long and enjoyable retirement!”
  • If it’s your friend or relative that’s retiring, you can write more casually, include anecdotes, and even throw in a little humor or sarcasm as long you know they won’t be offended by it.

The most important factor is to make the message a positive one.

2. How will the message be received?

When writing a message for a retirement card, it’s best to think about the retiree’s personality. Some people are more down to earth than others and will enjoy a funny or sarcastic message. Religious individuals may appreciate an inspirational note.

Also, you should think about what hobbies or activities the retiree is known to enjoy. You wouldn’t want to write something about having time to enjoy golf when the person is not a golfer.

Before you write a message, think about how the retiree might feel about it based on their personality, beliefs and hobbies.

3. Why is the person retiring?

This is a really important factor to consider when thinking about what to write in a retirement card because not everyone retires for the same reasons.

Those who retire by choice after putting in many years of service are ready to retire and may be looking forward to spending more time with family and doing things they’ve always wanted to do. In this scenario, retirement is a happy occasion, and your message can reflect that.

On the other hand, some people are forced into retirement. This could be due to company downsizing, health issues or family responsibilities. Retirement for these individuals may be a sad time. A message for these retirees should be sincere, empathetic and encouraging.

Example: “The office won’t be the same without you! You’ll be missed every day.”

4. Retirement is a life-changing event

Your co-worker, relative or friend may be gaining a lot more freedom, but he/she is also losing a sense of security found in the routine they’ve kept for so many years. Even though retirement may be a happy occasion for them, they may also feel uncertain about the future and how to cope without their normal work routine.

When writing sentiments in their retirement card, you can remind your co-worker or relative of the many things they can look forward to such as spending more time with their grandchildren, traveling, or DIY projects.

What NOT to Write in a Retirement Card: 5 Things

  1. Don’t compare the retiree to yourself. It may be tempting to compare your co-worker to yourself to show that you connect with them, but this may not be received as well as you intend. Everyone is different and everyone needs to be acknowledged for their own traits, achievements, and circumstances. An example of comparing: “I (We) know you feel…”
  2. Never write “It’s for the best” in a retirement card because you don’t know what’s best for the retiree. An employee who is retiring due to difficult circumstances may not feel it’s for the best at all.
  3. Don’t suggest the employee was too old or unable to do their job competently anymore. Even if it’s true, the words are hurtful. (The only exception to this is if you’re writing it in a way that is obviously a joke. See No. 5.)
  4. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t promise to visit the employee or do something for them if there’s a chance you won’t be able to deliver on it.
  5. Never write sarcastic phrases in a retirement card unless you know the employee well and know that he/she will receive it in good humor.

7 Tips For Writing a Retirement Card

If you prefer to handwrite your own sentiments but don’t know what to write in a retirement card, here are a few tips to inspire you:

1. Acknowledge the person’s contributions

Thank them for their commitment and hard work. Letting a retiree know that their contributions have not gone unnoticed but have made a difference for good adds meaning and purpose to their life. This is especially important to someone who has dedicated many years of their life to a company.

Example: “In the many years you have been with [company], you have made a positive difference. Congratulations on your retirement—it won’t be the same here without you!”

2. Share an unforgettable memory with them

If you’re a co-worker, you may have one or more memories of working with this person that you can share in the card. This could be a funny moment, a conversation, or when the retiree helped you on the job.

The memory could also be a time when the two of you worked together to reach a goal or win an award. It could even be a time you when two got into trouble together.

3. Point out their best traits

Mention one or more traits that you admire in the retiree. Were they always at work on time every day? Did they have a talent for making others laugh or feel better? Were they always good at problem-solving? They will appreciate being appreciated.

4. Let them know how they have helped or influenced you

Did the retiree lift you up when you were discouraged? Did they help you out in a tough spot? Did they teach you how to do something better? Remind them of how they made a difference for good in your career or personal life.

5. Things you’ll miss about them

What will you miss about the retiree? Will you miss good conversations with them? Or, will you miss their laughter and good personality? Maybe it’s all the homemade goodies they cooked and brought to work. Whatever it is that you’ll miss about them, let them know!

6. Remind them of things they won’t be missing

There are many things your co-worker will miss after retiring, so remind them of what they won’t be missing. Some of these things could be stressful deadlines, production goals, Monday morning blues, and staff meetings

7. Mention things they can look forward to after retirement

Retirement may cause anxiety for some people because they’re leaving a lifetime of routine and purpose.

Suggest things your co-worker can look forward to after retiring, such as spending more time with their grandchildren, traveling, and tackling projects they always talked about doing.

Also, remind them of their new-found freedom from schedules, early morning alarm clocks, hurried lunch breaks, and rush hour traffic.

Retirement quotes

Note: Some of the retirement quotes are from/inspired by the following sources: Shutterfly, Hallmark, Funky Pigeon, FTD, Desert Winds Retirement, Homemade Gifts Made Easy, and Wishes Messages Sayings.

Your turn

With these 72 quotes and tips, you now have a better idea of what to write in a retirement card.

Having these ready-made quotes makes it easier to express your well-wishes. Plus, you can tweak them for a more personal message. We hope you’ll save this guide to refer to whenever someone you know is retiring.

Have a tip or retirement message to add? Let us know below!

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is co-editor of FeelingGifty, and is on a mission to make giving gifts easier and more effective. He is a travel blogger and amateur photographer. He also blogs over at GringosAbroad and GudGear. Work with Bryan and Dena.

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