How To Write A Memorable Retirement Tribute: 5 Easy Steps


Someone is retiring, and you want to write a tribute to honor the retiree and show your respect, gratitude, and appreciation. Well, no need to look further! In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about writing an unforgettable retirement tribute for a coworker, boss, friend, teacher, dad, mom, and family member.

The following steps will help you with your writing process, whether you’re planning to write a retirement tribute letter, email, or speech.

Step 1: Collect Information

When writing an unforgettable retirement tribute, you need to have the correct information. The retiree retires once in life, so you want to nail it on the head with this one.

The first thing you want to do is collect information about the retiree. You need juice to have something to write about, right? Therefore, you may need to do some research and ask the retiree’s friends, coworkers, or family members to help you fill in the gaps. And I’ve made a list of information points that can be helpful to collect.

Helpful Information For A Retirement Tribute:

  • Exact startdate of their retirement
  • Years within the industry
  • Years on the job
  • First job in life
  • How many years retiree had worked for the company
  • Previous jobs in life/ at the company
  • Most memorable and positive contributions
  • Big projects retiree was involved
  • Biggest succes story
  • Received awards
  • Best character traits
  • (Proffesional) strenghts
  • Lessons you (or others) have learned from him/ her
  • What you (or others) going to miss about them
  • Funny stories and anecdotes
  • Their plans for retirement
  • What is on their bucket list

This list will help you along the way to find the content you need to start writing. You can possibly brainstorm ideas with other people and try to remember the most cherished moments, embarrassments, first day on the job, and other funny and serious stories and experiences you and others have with the retiree. The more personal it gets, the better it is.

Step 2: Know Your Goal

The second step is crucial. To write a memorable tribute, you need to set a goal for what you want the retiree to feel after reading your words or hearing them. Because people will forget the exact words you said or wrote, they will never forget how you made them feel.

So before you put any words on paper, think about how you want the retiree to feel. Do you want to make them feel appreciated, loved, celebrated? Do you want them to laugh? It is important to think about it for a second. Once you know your goal, you can start writing.

Also, to help you achieve this goal, it is always best to be as authentic as possible and write from the heart. You can instantly tell when it’s from the heart or not. And something from the heart is always unique and well-received. It gives the retiree an unforgettable feeling. Which is always the aim, right?

Don’t exaggerate. Let your relationship (whether close or not) and positivity shine through, and it will be a success.

Step 3: Write An Outline With Simple Framework

The next step in writing a retirement tribute is to create an outline. It helps you organize your thoughts and allows you to finalize the topics and stories you want to share. The following framework can help you out:

1) Start with a greeting
2) Congratulate on retirement
3) Share positive characteristics and accomplishments of retiree
4) Share examples of how the retiree made a difference
5) Share a personal (funny) story/ experience you have with the retiree
6) Share your gratitude and appreciation
7) Share what you’re going to miss most
8) Best wishes for the future
9) End with a polite closing
10) Give your contact details

It doesn’t have to be perfect yet. A rough outline with things you want to share and having examples to back it up is a great start.

Step 4: Write The Tribute

With a rough outline on paper, it is time to start writing and finalize your words. And I always like to read other examples to better come up with my own words. And that is why I have an example below that can help you perfect yours. It is a basic but simple retirement tribute that you can upgrade or downsize to your own words. Don’t forget to add in some humor as well!

Retirement Tribute Example

Dear (retiree’s name),

Congratulation on your retirement! 40 years on the job. You are a true legend!

Although I am very happy for you, I’m also sad to see you go.


You have made an undeniable difference. Your positive energy and kindness are why many people and I loved working with you.

You have truly made an impact and helped me in my personal and professional development. I loved working together on the successful but impossible project X, where I learned many valuable lessons from you about leadership and perseverance. I’m definitely making sure I pass these lessons on to my (future) coworkers.

I also remember the many times we laughed during lunch break and the pranks we pulled on other coworkers. Knowing that, I wonder how is it possible that you’re still so loved?!

Thank you for bringing so much joy and dedication. I’m going to miss your energy and positivity at the office. It will not be the same here without you.

I wish you the most fun, happiest and healthiest retirement ever. May all your bucket list dreams come true.

Let’s stay in contact and share a coffee or beer to catch up once in a while.

Best wishes and love for your family as well!

(Your Name)

(321) 376-8213
[email protected]

When you’re looking for more funny, inspiring, or heartwarming wishes to add to your retirement tribute, I can recommend reading my article: 100 Unique Best-Wishes For Retirement.

Step 5: Get Feedback

Make sure to proofread it and check for any spelling, grammar, or other mistakes. A message free of errors shows your professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that you care.

And the final step to writing the best retirement tribute is to ask for feedback. You can ask a co-worker, friend, or family to give you feedback. Or ask them to help practice your retirement tribute speech. It is best to ask a trusted person that you know that will give you honest feedback. Therefore you need to be open to a little (or a lot) of criticism. But that all help you to perfect your retirement tribute.

After you received their feedback and suggestions, you can do the last corrections. And then the next step is to send it out or host your speech.

Now that wasn’t all that difficult right?

When you’re planning to give a speech I recommend reading my article: How To Give The Best Retirement Speech | 18 Helpful Tips

And if you’re looking for a great retirement gift, check out my Top 5 Best Retirement Gifts

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 100+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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