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How to Create Perfect Retirement Messages for a Coworker: 50 Examples

When somebody leaves the company what do you do? We suggest meaningful retirement messages for a coworker. We show you how to embrace the idea beautifully.
Written by: Penny Swift
retirement messages for a coworker blog post cover
Published: July 8, 2024
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The Importance of Internal Communication

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As life expectancy soars, so does the importance of a meaningful farewell for those leaving a company. 

Think about it. The United Nations (UN) states that average lifespans nearly doubled between 1950 and 2019. Furthermore, the UN estimates that global life expectancy is projected to increase even more by 2050, reaching 80 years for women and 75 years for men. This means that retirement is no longer a brief epilogue, but a potentially long and fulfilling chapter of life. 

The 2023 World Economic Forum report, Living Longer, Better: Understanding Longevity Literacy sheds light on this shift and its impact on how we approach work and retirement. The report highlights the growing need for purpose and quality of life beyond financial security. But what about acknowledging someone’s contributions when they embark on this new chapter? This is where a retirement message comes in.

A heartfelt message in a card, or a digital tribute of some kind, isn’t just a formality. It’s a way to celebrate someone’s career journey, express appreciation for their impact, and acknowledge the exciting new phase ahead. In a world where work and retirement are being redefined, a thoughtful retirement message remains a timeless gesture.

benefits of retirement messages for a coworker

With this in mind, we have created 50 retirement messages for you or your boss to send to coworkers, or even you to send to your boss. We also discuss how a well thought out retirement message can help to refresh your company culture and give you tips on crafting messages.

How Can Retirement Messages for a Coworker Refresh Your Company Culture?

They say the best things in life come after retirement. And for your coworker who’s finally hanging up their work hat, it’s probably a cause for celebration! But beyond the cake and balloons, a heartfelt message can truly make their day. 

By taking the time to celebrate a colleague’s retirement with a thoughtful message, you can create a more positive, appreciative, and supportive work environment for everyone. This, in turn, can lead to a more refreshed and vibrant company culture.

Let’s look more closely at how retirement messages for a coworker can refresh your company culture in several ways.

Fosters Appreciation and Recognition

Well-written messages that highlight a coworker’s contributions and positive qualities show appreciation for their hard work and dedication. This creates a culture where employees feel valued and motivated to do their best.

Recognizing achievements sets a positive example for others, inspiring them to strive for excellence and know their efforts will be acknowledged.

Boosts Morale and Appreciation

Sending a thoughtful message to a retiring colleague shows the entire team that the company values its employees and their contributions. This appreciation can lead to a more positive and motivated work environment for everyone.

It highlights the importance of long-term commitment. Recognizing someone’s career journey reminds employees that the company invests in their growth and wants them to build a long-lasting career there.

Builds Stronger Bonds and Camaraderie

Taking the time to craft a thoughtful message demonstrates that you care about your colleagues as individuals, not just coworkers.

Sharing memories and expressing good wishes builds stronger bonds and a sense of community within the team.

Retirement celebrations, even small ones, can be a fun way to connect and create lasting positive memories. Funny retirement wishes are often quoted and requoted with much delight!

Strengthens Relationships and Connections

While you can write a retirement message on your own, collaborating with other coworkers fosters a sense of community and teamwork within the department or company as a whole. The impact goes beyond the immediate recipient. Witty messages can spark laughter, heartfelt messages can inspire, and all messages can contribute to a more positive and appreciative work environment.

Furthermore, sharing memories and anecdotes about a coworker on a retirement card personalizes the work experience and strengthens bonds between colleagues.

Improves Employee Retention

A strong company culture is a key factor in employee retention. Retirement messages contribute to a positive and supportive work environment, making employees feel valued and more likely to stay with the company.

Encourages Open Communication and Positivity

Publicly expressing appreciation in the creation of a retirement message normalizes positive communication. Employees feel comfortable expressing gratitude and recognizing others’ contributions.

Sharing well-wishes for a happy retirement creates a more positive and upbeat work environment. And focusing on the positive aspects of retirement (for example the opportunity for free time and new adventures) can help counteract feelings of sadness or loss associated with someone leaving.

Showcases Company Values

Retirement messages are a platform to subtly reinforce company values. After all, if teamwork, dedication, or a positive attitude are valued, it makes sense to highlight these qualities in messages to celebrate outgoing colleagues. This is an excellent way to reinforce values for current employees and creates a more attractive image for potential hires.

Set a Positive Example

When employees see others being celebrated for their dedication, it sets a positive precedent for the future. This can inspire current employees to strive for excellence and make valuable contributions themselves.

It also demonstrates the importance of work-life balance. Recognizing a coworker’s decision to retire and enjoy the next chapter of their life can encourage others to prioritize their own well-being while working toward a better future.

how can retirement messages refresh your company culture

Tips for Crafting Your Retirement Message for a Coworker

More than just a goodbye, a retirement card offers a chance to celebrate! It’s a way to express your appreciation and well wishes to a colleague embarking on a new adventure. Whether you’ve shared countless laughs or simply admired their work ethic, a heartfelt message can make a lasting impression.

Whatever your relationship with them, every coworker’s retirement is a milestone worth acknowledging. Here’s how to create a message that’s both heartfelt and memorable.

Express Gratitude

A sincere thank you goes a long way. Think about the specific contributions your coworker made to the team or company. Did they consistently go the extra mile? Were they always willing to help others? Mentioning these specific examples will make your message even more meaningful.

Highlight Achievements

Did your coworker have a particularly impressive accomplishment? Maybe they spearheaded a successful project or consistently exceeded expectations. Recognizing their achievements shows you were paying attention and valued their work. 

Warm Wishes

Retirement is a time for relaxation, exploration, and new beginnings. Express your hope that they’ll have a fulfilling and happy retirement filled with the things they love. 

Personalization

A generic message is nice, but a personalized message shows you put extra thought and effort into it. Consider your relationship with the retiree. Were they a close colleague or someone you interacted with less frequently? Tailoring the message to your specific bond will make it more heartfelt.

Be Authentic

The most impactful messages are genuine and heartfelt. Encourage colleagues to share personal anecdotes and well wishes.

tips for crafting your retirement message for a coworker

50 Examples of Retirement Messages for a Coworker 

Saying goodbye to a coworker who’s retiring is often a bittersweet occasion. They’ll be missed, but you’re also happy for them to embark on a new exciting new chapter. 

The beauty of a retirement card lies in its personalization. Depending on your bond with your coworker, you can tailor your message to include a specific anecdote, a funny memory, or simply a sincere expression of gratitude for their contributions. It’s a way to say thank you and congratulations all at once.

This collection of 50 messages offers a variety of options to express your appreciation, well-wishes, and maybe even a touch of humor. You don’t have to copy and paste. Mix and match and add your own personal touches. Note that where we’ve put something in [square brackets] that’s your opportunity to personalize. 

Creative Retirement Messages

  1. Congratulations on your retirement! May your to-do list finally consist of “relax” and “repeat.”
  2. Wishing you a retirement filled with sunshine, laughter, and adventures you’ve only dreamed of so far.
  3. They say retirement is like a permanent vacation. Here’s hoping yours is even better than the best vacation you ever dreamed of!
  4. Happy retirement! Time to trade in your deadlines for pool floats and set new deadlines for margaritas or champagne.
  5. Imagine all the books you’ll finally read, the places you’ll explore. Happy retirement, [Coworker’s name]!
  6. Wishing you a retirement filled with enough “me time” to last a lifetime!
  7. Happy retirement! Time to trade in your power suit for your swimsuit (or whatever retirement attire suits you best).
  8. Happy retirement, [Coworker’s name]. We’ve all heard about your travel bucket list, and now you finally have the time to check off every destination. May your passport get a workout and your memories be unforgettable. We know they will and look forward to sharing stories about them with you. 
  9. Congratulations on your retirement, [Coworker’s name]. You’ve left your mark on this company, just like the historical figures you always loved to talk about. Now it’s time to write your own exciting new chapter. Happy retirement!

Funny Retirement Wishes

  1. Congratulations on your retirement! Now you can finally get some sleep (and maybe avoid the coffee machine).
  2. Wishing you a retirement filled with more [hobby] and less [work task]. 
  3. So happy you’re retiring! Don’t forget to send us a postcard from all those exotic locations you’ll be visiting.
  4. They say retirement is the start of your golden years. Just don’t get too rusty, okay? Enjoy your retirement and all the dreams you’ve been wishing for. 
  5. Happy retirement. Here’s to hoping you spend less time working and more time complaining about how busy you are in retirement!

Emotional Retirement Messages

  1. It’s hard to imagine the office without you! You’ve been more than just a coworker, you’ve been a friend. Enjoy your retirement, and let’s stay in touch!
  2. I can’t thank you enough for all the laughs, support, and inside jokes. Happy retirement, [Coworker’s name]!
  3. Our team won’t be the same without your [positive quality]. Wishing you all the best in your well-deserved retirement.
  4. Thank you for being such a wonderful colleague and friend. I’ll miss our chats and coffee breaks. Happy retirement!
  5. Cheers to you, [Coworker’s name]! Here’s to new adventures and exciting times in your retirement.
  6. It’s been a pleasure working alongside you. All the best in your retirement!
  7. We’ll miss you around the office! Wishing you a happy and fulfilling retirement.
  8. You’ve always brought a positive attitude and a can-do spirit to the team. Happy retirement!

Retirement Thank you Messages

  1. I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for your mentorship and guidance over the years. Happy retirement!
  2. Thank you for being such a patient mentor. I’ve learned so much from you. Wishing you a wonderful retirement!
  3. One of the things I’ll always appreciate about you is your willingness to help others. Thank you, and enjoy your retirement!
  4. Thanks to your dedication and hard work, the team has achieved so much. Wishing you a happy retirement!
  5. I’ll never forget the time you [positive memory]. Thank you for the memories, and happy retirement!
  6. I’ll always remember your [achievement]. Thanks for setting such a high bar. Enjoy your retirement!
  7. Your sense of humor has brightened many a workday. Thank you, and enjoy your retirement!
  8. I’ve always admired your work ethic and professionalism. Wishing you a happy retirement!
  9. Thanks for always being a reliable teammate. You’ll be missed! Happy retirement.

Witty Retirement Messages

  1. Congratulations on escaping the corporate jungle! May your retirement be filled with sunshine and serenity.
  2. Wishing you a retirement filled with enough naps to make up for all the coffee you’ve had to drink.
  3. So long, emails, meetings, and deadlines! Happy retirement, [Coworker’s name]!
  4. They say retirement is what you make it. Here’s to making yours absolutely fantastic!
  5. Cheers to your retirement! Now you can finally tell your alarm clock to take a hike.
  6. Retirement is proof that good things come to those who wait (and work hard!). Enjoy it!
  7. Happy retirement! May your golf game improve and your stress levels vanish.
  8. Congratulations on finally being able to “reply all” to everyone without repercussions!

Retirement Messages to the Boss

Great bosses deserve a grand send-off! Managing people is a demanding and often under-appreciated job. So, when a great leader (a valued boss) decides to retire, expressing your gratitude becomes even more important.

But crafting the perfect message can feel daunting — just because it’s for the boss. That’s why we are adding a few guidelines to help you craft a heartfelt message to send your boss off on a high note. 

  • Celebrate their journey: Acknowledge their successful career and the positive impact they’ve made on the company.
  • Express gratitude: Thank them for their hard work, dedication, and any specific guidance they’ve provided to you.
  • Share a personal touch: Everyone loves a good story. Include a specific memory or anecdote that highlights their leadership style or personality. If it’s appropriate, include funny retirement wishes. 
  • Wish him or her well: Express your happiness for their next chapter and offer to stay in touch (if you’d like to, of course).
  • Warm wishes and goodbye: End with a sincere wish for their future endeavors.

Message Ideas

  1. Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for your leadership and guidance over the years.
  2. We’ll miss your leadership, but we’re thrilled for you to embark on this exciting new chapter. Happy retirement!
  3. Your dedication and vision have shaped this company for the better. Wishing you a happy and fulfilling retirement.
  4. Thank you for creating a positive and productive work environment. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!
  5. The office won’t be the same without your expertise. Wishing you all the best in your retirement.
  6. Your dedication and leadership have been an inspiration. Happy retirement!

Bonus: Short and Sweet Retirement Messages

  1. Happy retirement! Wishing you all the best.
  2. Congratulations! Enjoy your well-deserved break.
  3. Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement!
  4. May your retirement be filled with joy and relaxation.
  5. Cheers to a wonderful retirement!

Where to Find More Great Retirement Messages 

There are lots of great ideas for retirement messages on the Internet. We did some digging and chose three of the best.

Indeed

The American global employment website, Indeed, offers all kinds of advice – including suggestions for retirement cards. For example, career coach, Jennifer Herrity, shares 80 messages in an article, 80 Messages To Write In a Retirement Card for a Coworker.

Kudoboard

Microsoft’s Kudoboard is a group card and employee recognition program. In a blog post, Ashley Gould provides 33 Best Retirement Wishes for Your Boss

Flying Flowers 

Essentially a UK flower delivery service, Flying Flowers provides inspiration for those wishing to send a message for any occasion – including retirement. Their advice is to:

  • Make it personal
  • Be slightly cheeky and/or funny
  • Celebrate new adventures
  • Or combine the whole lot 

Take your Retirement Messages for a Coworker to the Next Level

It’s one thing to create fabulous retirement messages for coworkers and others you have connected with at work, but how are you going to share the messages? Not that long ago, we would buy cards and give them to colleagues at farewell events, or just post them. Now we use a variety of digital methods to share our messages, including social media.

Here’s how you can take retirement messages for a coworker to the next level using email blasts, employee newsletters, and personalization in 2024.

  • Cerkl Broadcast Email Blasts: Instead of just forwarding a generic card, create a short email with a personalized introduction. Highlight the coworker’s achievements and contributions to the company. Briefly mention some fun facts or anecdotes to make it engaging. Include a link to the main retirement message platform (like Kudoboard) where everyone can contribute.
  • Employee newsletters: Dedicate a section in the newsletter to the retiring coworker. Include a professional photo, a short bio highlighting their career journey, and a heartfelt message from the manager/team. Encourage readers to leave personalized messages on the dedicated platform. Take this one step further and use Broadcast News Digest to ensure nobody misses their special message. 
  • Personalize your messages: Instead of a generic “Happy Retirement,” encourage colleagues to share specific memories, funny moments, or how the retiree’s work ethic inspired them. This adds a personal touch that resonates more deeply. 
  • Leverage Digital Platforms: Platforms like Kudoboard offer a central location for colleagues (remote or in-office) to leave messages, photos, and videos. This creates a lasting digital keepsake for the retiree and fosters a sense of community.
  • Consider social media: While Email Blasts and newsletters are great for internal communication, using social media requires more caution. If you opt for social media, take privacy into account. In the event of retirement, it’s probably best to consider a platform like LinkedIn, which is more career-oriented. Also, keep the message positive and professional.
take your retirement message to the next level

What’s Next?

It may not seem obvious at first, but retirement messages are a vital part of an internal communications strategy. It’s not just a whim that coworkers work on to tell each other how proud they are to have worked together. Or how much they hope they will prosper after retirement. Internal communicators need to encourage this kind of communication and dialogue. It matters as much to the employee who is retiring as it does to those who are still working with the company. This is why you need to focus on a well-thought-out internal communications strategy. Our white paper, The Importance of Internal Communication can help you. And you can access it free of charge. 

FAQ

How to write a retirement message to coworkers?

Keep the message personal! Mention a shared memory or funny moment. Express gratitude for their contributions and well wishes for their next chapter.

What is a good short retirement quote?

“You are not retiring from the world; you are retiring from a job. You are not getting old; you are getting better.”

How do you say goodbye professionally to colleagues?

Express appreciation for the opportunity to work with them. Briefly highlight a positive aspect of their work. Wish them success in their future endeavors. And if you got on well with them during your work lives, stay in contact with them after they retire.

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