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What to write in a retirement card

Last updated 28th October 2022

7 min read

Older woman and man sitting together laughing and reading a tablet

Deciding what to write in a retirement card can be difficult. Whether it's a friend, colleague or coworker that’s retiring, it’s important to help them celebrate the journey they’ve been on and the new adventure that lies ahead! A thoughtful retirement card message can be the best way to do that.

But when deciding what to write in a retirement card, it's easy for the mind to go blank. Should it be a funny message? Maybe they’ve been a big support and you want to thank them? Are they your boss or your best friend?

There can be lots of different things to consider, so here’s a guide on what to write in a retirement card.

Funny or silly messages for a retirement card

For many people, retirement can be an exciting occasion. If the retiree is somebody you’ve often shared a joke with, a funny or silly message could be best.

Here are ten ideas for a funny message you might want to write in a retirement card:

  1. One question: can you take us with you?
  2. Enjoy surfing the web during the day without getting caught!
  3. Time to trade your work naps for cat naps!
  4. I’m totally shocked you didn’t get fired first. Enjoy retirement!
  5. Lucky you, you don’t have to laugh at the boss's jokes anymore!
  6. Welcome to retirement, where every day is a Saturday!
  7. I’m so happy that you finally got the job you always wanted
  8. I would congratulate you, but some of us have work on Monday
  9. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can put new tyres on an old car. That’s what you’re doing: re-tyring. Happy retirement!
  10. Congratulations! Now your only job is to have fun – and I know you’re a real pro at that. Enjoy your retirement!

Sincere messages for a retirement card

If you have a close relationship with the retiree, then you might want to write something a bit more sincere and heartfelt.

Here are ten sincere messages you can write in a retirement card:

  1. Now you have all the time to catch up on sleep, hobbies and vacations. Enjoy every part of your new life.
  2. Today you begin an endless holiday, and I’m so excited for you. Wishing you the best of times.
  3. Goodbye tension and hello pension! Congratulations from all of us to one well-deserving retiree
  4. Thank you for all your support and hard work over the years. You’re an example to us all
  5. Your retirement is well deserved but you’ll be missed!
  6. Thank you for all the great memories! You’ll never be forgotten
  7. Whatever comes next for you, may it bring you the same joy and fulfilment as you brought us
  8. Morning, noon and night, you were always here. What’ll we ever do without you? Good luck and take some well-deserved time just for you!
  9. First one in, last one out. Your dedication knows no bounds and your contributions will be sincerely missed!
  10. In these last years, you set the standard for loyalty, kindness and character. No one will ever be able to take your place

Light hearted and simple messages for a retirement card

Not being best friends with someone doesn’t mean you can’t write a retirement card – it just means a less personal message may be more appropriate.

Here are ten simple and polite messages you could write in a retirement card:

  1. Congratulations! I hope you enjoy every minute of your retirement
  2. You made it! Congratulations on your retirement – we’ll miss you around the office
  3. You’ve had a brilliant career, and now it’s time for a fantastic retirement – enjoy!
  4. Happy retirement! Enjoy your well-deserved time off.
  5. Cheers to your second act! May it be even more fantastic than the first.
  6. Congratulations on your retirement! I’m so happy we worked together!
  7. I can't believe you're retiring! Congratulations to you!
  8. Celebrating you today! Congratulations on your retirement!
  9. Best wishes to you and your family. Happy retirement!
  10. Congratulations on your retirement. Now enjoy your time as a retiree!

Retirement card messages for a coworker

If the retiree is a coworker you know well, something more specific about your relationship could be more fitting than a generic goodbye or joke.

Below is a list of ten messages you could write in a coworker’s retirement card:

  1. In the many years you’ve been at this company, you’ve made an undeniable difference – it won’t be the same without you!
  2. You were here when I joined the company and you’ve been here every step of the way. I’m so sad to see you go. Enjoy your next adventure!
  3. Having you as a coworker has been nothing but a delight. I wish you a fantastic retirement! We’ll miss you!
  4. Thank you for always creating a motivating atmosphere around the office. I’ll miss your presence here. I hope you get to experience all the adventures you wanted to after retirement
  5. To one of the best people in the office, congratulations on your retirement
  6. The office won’t be the same without you! You’ll be missed every day
  7. You’ve always given the best in every project you do. How about putting that kind of effort in with nothing to do? Enjoy your retirement.
  8. You’re one of the best colleagues I’ve worked with. How I wish I could still have you by my side! Happy retirement!
  9. Today you leave the office for a relaxing time with your family. I hope you get all the peace you desire.
  10. Congratulations, you are now free! No more meetings, no more deadlines, and no more bossy bosses. Enjoy your retirement.

Retirement card messages for a friend

If you work with a friend, seeing them retire can be bittersweet. If so, you could write a thoughtful message in their retirement card.

Here are ten messages you can write to a friend in their retirement card:

  1. I hope your retirement gives you more time to bond with friends and family. Just don’t forget that we’re friends that became family! Happy retirement!
  2. It’s not easy to say goodbye, but I’ll hold on to the fond memories of working with you. I hope your retirement brings you joy and peace.
  3. Retirement is about spending less time with colleagues and more time relaxing with friends and family. I’m glad our friendship gives us the privilege to spend time together even after you retire. To more happy times!
  4. Friends never leave but live in the heart and mind. So this retirement is not a goodbye, but a see you soon!
  5. Let’s clarify some matters before you go. It’s you who’s retiring and not our friendship! I still expect more visits, meet-ups and golf games – as long as it’s not on work time!
  6. Cherish every moment of this time and revel in this new stage of your life. Happy retirement!
  7. After climbing the mountain, you can finally enjoy the view. Congratulations on your retirement!
  8. Like every other colleague in the room, I’m crying. But I don’t know if I’m sad that you’re leaving the office, or if I’m thrilled at the thought of having endless beer time with you!
  9. You won the retirement race first, but I still get to earn a salary. How about a weekend outing before you leave the city? I’ll pay for the drinks!
  10. You’ve reached an incredible level of freedom. No more daily commutes and no more waking up so early. Can we trade places?

Retirement card messages for a mentor, manager or boss

When you’re writing a retirement card for a mentor, manager or boss, your message might need to be a bit more formal.

Here are ten messages you can write to a boss in their retirement card:

  1. Thank you for always supporting our team with your constant positivity and encouragement. We’ll miss you!
  2. To a boss who’s made a strong and lasting impact on me, may your retirement be everything you’ve hoped for.
  3. You were a such good boss – you gave us direction and inspiration. Happy retirement!
  4. If we’re thinking of profit and loss, your retirement is a loss for us and a profit for your family. Farewell.
  5. Retirement is the awesome reward for all the war-torn battles fought in the boardroom. Congratulations boss.
  6. You’ll love retirement. You never took a day off from work...and there are no days off in retirement either. Happy retirement boss!
  7. We’ll be ecstatic if we can be even half as efficient, half as creative and half as amazing as when you were the boss. Happy retirement!
  8. There was never a dull moment or a slow day in the office when you were around. Enjoy your retirement!
  9. 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!
  10. I'm glad I had the opportunity to work with you over the past [insert number of] years. You've been a fantastic boss and a great mentor. Enjoy your retirement and some well-deserved time for yourself. Do keep in touch!

Next steps

Whether the retiree is a coworker, boss or friend, you now have plenty of options to express your feelings on their retirement. And if their retirement has made you think about your own, we have lots of articles and guides to help you prepare...

The thoughts and opinions expressed in the page are those of the authors, intended to be informative, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SunLife. See our Terms of Use for more info.