Your retirement date is coming closer, and you’re probably wondering how do I write a retirement letter?
You write a retirement letter in a positive tone, where you mention the start date of your retirement in the first paragraph. You express your gratitude and highlights of your career in the middle paragraph. And you end the letter by offering your help for a smooth transition and well wishes for co-workers and the company.
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to write a retirement letter. Including retirement letter templates, tips, and examples. Ready to learn more? Let’s read on!
Tips To Write A Retirement Letter
As I mentioned at the start of this article, a retirement letter often contains three paragraphs. The information you share in a retirement letter is always in chronological order. It’s important to follow these guidelines because a retirement letter is an official document. So you want to make sure you add the right information. The following tips will help you to write a professional and positive retirement letter.
Official Written Notification – Add a Date
The retirement letter is the official proof that you’re retiring. Even if you’ve verbally told multiple people within the company about your retirement plans, you still need to write a retirement letter to make it official. Preferably you type a retirement letter and put your handwritten signature on the bottom.
In the first paragraph of your retirement letter, you’ll mention your retirement date. This way it’s clear for both your employer and you when you’re going to retire. When you mention your retirement date, you avoid that you need to postpone your retirement.
Keep Things Short, Sweet and Positive
No matter what the circumstances or reasons are for your retirement, you want to end this chapter on a positive note. So you keep the letter short, sweet, and positive without going into the reasons and details why you’re retiring. You want to avoid burning any bridges.
The feelings you have now are different over a couple of months, and you wish you’ve handled it better. You can bump into people over the years, or you’re considering becoming a freelancer in retirement and want to offer your services to your previous employer, co-workers, or clients.
By leaving on a gracious note, you feel better about yourself retiring, and there is always an opportunity to come back in some way.
You can use Grammarly to make sure your retirement letter is perfect and check for any typos. It’s a free tool that you can use to make sure your retirement letter is without any grammar mistakes. You can use Grammarly simply by adding a plugin to your Google Chrome browser or uploading your document to the Grammarly editor.
When you use Grammarly for writing an official letter, like a retirement letter, it’s recommended to use the premium version. The premium version of Grammarly helps you to write even better letters. It helps create more clarity, gives you tone adjustments, picks the right words, and much more.
Send A Copy To The Human Resources Department
You want to keep HR and other management in the loop by sending them a copy of your retirement letter. This way, you’ll avoid any problems when it comes to your benefits. Ask them to confirm receiving your letter officially.
Give Your Personal Contact Information
If you want to stay in contact with your colleagues and boss in retirement, you can write your contact information in the retirement letter. Your boss is maybe used to contacting you on a business phone number and via business email, so it’s helpful to provide your personal contact details.
Offer To Help With A Smooth Transition
The company is probably going to find a replacement for you, or maybe your work is divided among existing team members. Either, you are the person that knows best how the work needs to be done. So offer your help with finding a replacement or dividing your tasks.
When the company is finding a replacement, you can offer to explain the tasks to the new employee. This way there will be a smooth transition for everyone!
Offer Your Services
When you plan to work as a freelancer in retirement, or maybe do some occasional work for the company, you want to offer your services in your retirement letter. Discuss these plans in person with your boss. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when you mention these plans in your retirement letter.
Retirement Letter Templates
Below is a template of a retirement letter that you can use for writing your retirement letter.
(YOUR CONTACT DETAILS)
City, State, Zip Code
(COMPANY CONTACT DETAILS)
Your ‘supervisor’s name
Your ‘supervisor’s title
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. (LAST NAME SUPERVISOR),
The first paragraph is to announce and confirm your retirement by:
– write the effective date of your retirement
– other terms or agreements about your retirement
You use the middle paragraph(s) for recapping by:
– expressing your gratitude
– mention highlights of your career
– show appreciation for opportunities
You focus on the future in the final paragraph(s) by
– giving well wishes to the company and co-workers
– write what you’re looking forward to in retirement
– offer potential services as consultant, freelancer or part-time worker (if desired)
– offer assistance for the transition
– provide personal contact details (if you want to keep in touch)
– request confirmation of your retirement date
CLOSING THE LETTER:
Yours faithfully, (very formal)
Yours truly, (formal)
Yours sincerely, (informal)
Respectfully yours, (personal)
Regards, (often used)
Your Typed Name
Examples First Paragraph Retirement Letter
The first paragraph is to clarify the terms of your retirement. You write about the last official day at the office or mention the effective first day of your retirement. Here are a couple of examples:
- I am writing to confirm my retirement from the position of (job title) with effect from April 3, 2021.
- Please accept this letter of my notice to retire. I will retire effective on December 15, 2021; this makes December 14 my final day at the office.
- With this letter, I want to announce my retirement officially. My last day at work is on May 14, 2021.
- This letter is my official notification to you and the company that my last day at work will be February 1, 2022. On that day, I plan to retire.
- I want to inform you that I am retiring from my position at (company name), July 1, 2021.
It depends on your situation if you want to clarify other terms and agreements about your retirement. You can add terms like financial settlement, health insurance, and other benefits in your retirement letter. You can also write these terms in a different letter to the Human Resources Department or management to confirm the agreements.
Examples Middle Paragraph Retirement Letter
The middle paragraph(s) in a retirement letter is for recapping your career and time at the company. You can express your gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities you’ve received. You can also write about a couple of highlights, achievements, and successes in your career.
If you have a close relationship with your boss or supervisor, you can share a couple of things you’re thankful for. Here are a couple of examples:
Thank you for the opportunities for professional and personal development that you’ve provided me at (company name). I have enjoyed working here very much, and I am proud of our achievements with Project X, Y, and Z.
The last 20 years I have enjoyed working at (company name). I am thankful for all the support and opportunities I received over the years. The greatest achievement in my career is being part of the team (project name): one of the most successful projects in the company’s history. And where I made friendships that last for a lifetime.
So, even though I am looking forward to my retirement, I am going to miss this place as well.
I have truly enjoyed working at (company name), and I appreciate the opportunities the company has given me. I grew professionally and personally over the last ten years, and I’m thankful for all the valuable lessons.
It was a pleasure working for you and (company name). Thank you for your leadership and coaching over the years. Because of your management style, I can view my mistakes as opportunities to grow.
And I’m forever grateful for the valuable lessons you’ve taught me and the friendship we have. I will look back on the last years of my career with joy and great memories.
Examples Final Paragraph Retirement Letter
In the last paragraph, you focus on the future. In this section, you give well wishes to the company and co-workers for the future, write what you’re looking forward to in retirement, and share a couple of your retirement plans.
If you like to stay associated with the company, you can offer your services as a consultant, freelancer, or part-time worker. Or, if you’ve come to a working agreement, you can document this in the retirement letter.
And you want to officially offer your assistance to make the transition as smooth as possible. And provide your contact details if you’re going to keep in touch or share your new address if you’re planning on moving in retirement. You can also request a confirmation of your retirement date, so you know it’s official on mutual sides.
Here are a couple of examples:
In retirement, I’m going to travel to Europe together with my wife and spend quality time with my family and friends. So as you would understand, I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life.
I want to give the best wishes to everyone in the company and wish you good luck with current and new projects in the future. Please let me know what I can do to make this transition as smooth as possible.
It was a pleasure being part of such a successful company.
I wish you and the company all the best in the future. Even though I’m looking forward to my retirement plans, I would love to continue to work as a freelancer on various projects within the company. You can contact me via email (see above) if you want to utilize my services.
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during this transition for my replacement. And I kindly request you to process my retirement papers.
I’m very excited about life in retirement. We plan to move to (new city/ state), so we’re closer to our grandchildren. And I’m also planning to do volunteer work for (charity name) in retirement. In the header of this letter, I’ve included my personal email so that you can continue to contact me after I leave the company.
I will make sure that my replacer is fully informed, and the transition runs smoothly.
Thank you again for the fantastic journey.
As I look forward to a new life in retirement, I will certainly miss the enjoyable time I spend working with you. Please let me know what I can do to help you with the transition of my work to another employer.
I wish all the success and growth to (company name)!
Example Retirement Letter
Below is an example of a retirement letter. You can download the retirement letter with the link below and copy/paste the paragraphs you like. Or use it as an inspiration, and adjust the sentences to your situation.
3112 Doctors Drive
Los Angelos, California, 90017
Mr. Leon Lee
112 5th Avenue
Los Angelos, California, 91117
September 7, 2020
Dear Mr. Lee,
I am writing to confirm my retirement from the position of marketing assistant with effect from October 1, 2020. Which makes September 30 my final day at the office.
Thank you for the opportunities for professional and personal development that you’ve provided me at Leki Inc. I have genuinely enjoyed my employment as a marketing assistant. And even though I am looking forward to my retirement, I’m going to miss coming to work every day.
I want to give the best wishes to everyone in the company and wish you all the success and growth with current and new projects in the future.
Feel free to contact me if you seek advice in the future or want to keep in touch. I’ve included my personal contact details in this letter.
I would appreciate confirmation of my leaving date. And please let me know what I can do to make this transition as smooth as possible. Thank you again for the amazing journey.
Tips Before You Write a Retirement Letter
Sending your retirement letter is the official way of giving notice. So, before you do this, there are a couple of things you need to consider or keep in mind.
Check Your Retirement Finance Plan
You don’t want to quit your job before you know for sure that everything is financially arranged for your retirement. Talk to your financial advisor or ask for a second opinion that can run through the numbers again for you.
Know What Benefits You’re Entitled To
Talk to human recourses and figure out exactly what benefits you’re entitled to. Maybe there are financial settlements, health insurance, or other benefits agreements that you want to have confirmed on paper. Make sure any agreements are set down in black and white before you give your official notice.
And sometimes, you’re able to collect unused vacation or sick days so you can retire a couple of days earlier. Also, you want to figure out what the next steps are with your 401(k), IRA, or pension plans now you’re retiring. Make sure you’re informed thoroughly by human recourses or the representative of your pension plans.
Check Your Healthcare Plan
Call your health insurance provider to get informed about what happens when you’re retiring. And what steps or things you need to do.
Read The Company’s Manual
Be informed about the policies of the company. Dust the manual of you received when you started working or ask for an up-to-date manual at human recourses. In this manual, you can read what’s expected of you. How much notice you should give for your specific job and other information that helps you to prepare for the talk with your boss about your retirement. This way, you don’t feel confused if anything unexpected comes up.
Talk To Your Boss First
Before you can give the official notice for retirement, you need to have talked to your boss about it. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise. The letter is just the formal way to confirm on paper what you have spoken about.
You can schedule a private meeting at the end of the day. This way you have a bit of time to discuss your plans but you’re also not interrupting your boss’s other work responsibilities.
Have A Transition Plan Ready
It is nice to have a transition plan prepared for the company. You don’t have to have a whole plan available but having thought about it can help make the transition as smooth as possible.
You can offer assistance in finding your replacement, make a handbook for your co-workers, prep emails to inform people, or do other things to help move projects forward.
Consider Working As A Consultant
When you like to work for the company on a limited basis, you can consider becoming a consultant. You can work part-time or as a freelancer.
You can talk to your boss or management and see how they like this idea and what they can offer you. So, you can see if their offers fit into your retirement plans. You’d be surprised about how many companies like to utilize the experience of their retired employees.
In the retirement letter, you can offer your services or if you’ve already reached an agreement you can document this in the retirement letter. But make sure the terms are specific put, and you put an end date in the agreement. So, you avoid working suddenly full-time when you’ve only committed to working one day per week.
And if you don’t want to be associated with the company in retirement, make sure you don’t commit to anything work-related. If you have other plans and dreams in retirement, then make sure nothing keeps you from following that new path.
Take The Lead In Announcing Your Retirement
It often happens that once an employee gives notice, the boss takes over the communication about the employee’s retirement. It’s best to inform your boss that you want to announce your retirement to your co-workers. Preferably you can share your thoughts in the same conversation you’re announcing your retirement to your boss. This way, you take the lead without allowing your boss to run with the “story.”
Ways To Announce Your Retirement (to co-workers)
There are different ways to announce your retirement. And it depends on the working environment and the relationship you have with co-workers what way is the best for you. You can get very creative and make it as fun as possible as long as you conform to the company’s policies and don’t burn any bridges. And here are a couple of examples:
- Write on a Cake – Bake a cake and write the retirement letter for your boss on a cake. Make sure you also include the official retirement letter with it.
- Send a goodbye letter or email to everyone that ‘you’ve worked with during the duration of your employment. You can write personal notes or emails to your closest co-workers and write a more general letter to everyone in the company.
- Give a speech at the end of an (important) meeting to announce your retirement to co-workers.
- Hang up a (funny) poster to announce your retirement
- Send out cupcakes to your co-workers to announce your retirement.
- Hold a special meeting to announce your retirement.
- Say it with a cake and let deliver it to your team with texts as “Congratulations…to me! I’m retiring”, “Happy retirement to me”, “At (date) I’m outta here” or any other funny or sincere text.
- Wear a t-shirt or tie with texts like: “two weeks and counting.”, “Tick, tock, tick, tock” or “Bye Bye Tension, Hello Pension.” And people will come up to you immediately and start asking questions.
- Announce your retirement with a good office prank.
- Create a video to send to your co-workers. It’s very easy to do. Record the video with just your smartphone or tablet. And with apps like Imovie and Splice (ios) and Quick and FilmoraGo (android), you quickly edit it.
Read more: How To Announce Your Retirement: Step-by-Step Guide
Ways To Celebrate Your Retirement
Retirement is a major accomplishment that’s worth celebrating. And there are many ways to celebrate your retirement so here are a couple of ideas to give you some inspiration:
- Organize a retirement party – This can be as small or big a celebration as you want, with friends, family, and co-workers. Read more: How To Celebrate A Retirement Party At Home; 14 Tips
- Give a speech – By giving a speech, you can express your feelings of gratitude towards the company, co-workers, and family even more. Read more: 13 Tips On How To Give The Best Retirement Speech
- Plan a trip – Travel to that destination you’ve been dreaming about for years or go on spontaneous trips a little closer to home. You now have the advantage of traveling during the off-season and weekdays, which makes traveling a lot cheaper. Read more: How To Retire And Travel Cheap: 20 Helpful Tips
- Relax and unwind – You’ve worked very hard to enjoy this freedom finally. So, why not celebrate it by relaxing the first couple of days and weeks to unwind and enjoy that sense of freedom.
- Create new healthy routines – If you want to enjoy a long and healthy retirement, then the best way to celebrate your retirement is by starting healthy routines. You can create exercise routines, cook healthy food, and stay mentally fit by challenging your brain with puzzles, games, or educational ways.
- Start a tradition – You can start a new tradition with family, friends, or neighbors. For example, weekly family brunch, daily coffee time with a friend or neighbor, or starting new traditions during the holidays Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Having an event on the calendar gives you something to look forward to and creates a purpose in your life.
- Give yourself a gift – What better way to celebrate this accomplishment than by giving yourself a gift. A piece of art, jewelry, or a watch can be a great retirement gift and also lasts forever. But the best retirement gifts are gifts that help you enjoy retirement. For example new hobby gear, a travel gift, or access to online Masterclasses (for any skill level) from the most famous teachers in the world that help you keep your retirement fun, interesting, and enjoyable.
- Write a book – Retirement can be a time to think about how you want to be remembered. In a memoir or family history book, you can tell your own story. You can pass on the wisdom and family stories to your grandchildren. Or you can write a book to pass on your knowledge and give career tips for the younger generation within your industry.
- Spend time with your grandchildren – Maybe spending time with your family is one of the biggest reasons why you wanted to retire. So, it can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself for retirement to be surrounded by your grandchildren. Maybe when they’re still young you can babysit them so it saves your children a lot of money on childcare.
- Create a bucket list – You can plan this new chapter in your life by creating a bucket list. This way you can live your retirement to the fullest. For inspiration check out my article with 101 ideas for your retirement bucket list here.
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