Reaching retirement is a tremendous accomplishment. After decades of employment, you finally get to step away from your work and enjoy the fruits of your labor — and that, in itself, should be celebrated. 

The rush of feelings that accompanies the completion of one’s career is often intense and varied. From exuberance and joy to hesitancy and uncertainty, the emotions we experience upon retirement are wide ranging.

Group of successful and confident multigenerational business peo

That’s why it can be difficult to know how to commemorate such an event. Getting a friend or loved one a retirement card is a gesture that will always be appreciated, and adding a thoughtful note to the inside of it is a must.

If you need help finding the right words to express your feelings to a recently retired family member, loved one, colleague, or friend, then this list of retirement wishes will help guide you to crafting the perfect message — whether you want to communicate gratitude, honor, excitement, or another sentiment.

An ode to new adventures

  1. When one chapter ends, the next begins. Best of luck as you continue to fill your story with new adventures.
  2. Congratulations on your retirement. I can’t wait to watch you pursue your passions and live out your retirement dreams.
  3. The work may be done, but the living has just begun. I hope you enjoy all the new places you’ll see and experiences you’ll have in retirement!
  4. As you move from one phase of life to another, I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things you do next.
  5. The future is full of potential, and I know you’ll live it like an exciting adventure every step of the way.
  6. I’ve always admired how you live your life with passion. I know your retirement years will be a grand and vibrant adventure!
  7. Happy retirement! May the years ahead be bright and filled with new endeavors and memorable adventures.
  8. Whether you hit the road or sail the seven seas, make your retirement as adventurous as can be.

Honoring a legacy

  1. Your positive attitude and work ethic inspire me. You made a huge impact not only in your career but also in my life. Enjoy your retirement — you’ve earned it!
  2. You always gave your best; now, that’s what I’m giving you. Wishing you the best in retirement and all that you do.
  3. We love all that you did during your working years. Now, go do all that you love in retirement!
People, party and clapping at restaurant in night with friends, business executive team or happy for success. New year, applause, celebration gala with champagne, congratulations or group motivation
  1. You may be retiring, but you will never be replaced. Thank you for all you’ve done throughout the years. I hope you enjoy your retirement — you deserve it!
  2. You have been the picture of excellence for years, and I have no doubt that will continue in your retirement. Congratulations and best wishes as you continue to inspire everyone around you.
  3. Your career has been outstanding, and your impact will be long lasting. Thank you for all you’ve done, and best wishes for all you have yet to do.
  1. While we will miss you dearly, we celebrate your legacy of exceptional hard work and years of passion. Know that your legacy lives on as you enjoy your retirement.
  2. Seasons come and go, chapters start and close, but your legacy is eternal. Thank you for always being the best of us. Good luck in your retirement.
  3. The legacy you leave behind pales in comparison to the life that lies ahead. Enjoy your retirement — we’re all rooting for you!

It’s not “Goodbye,” it’s “See you later”

  1. I sure am going to miss you, but I couldn’t be happier for you as you head off to retirement. Here’s to hoping we cross paths again soon and often!
  2. You may not be coming to work anymore, but I hope you stay in touch. All the best in your retirement!
  3. The office won’t be the same without you, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we miss you already!
  4. Retirement is a huge accomplishment, and while every one of us will miss you dearly, we look forward to hearing all about your new adventures.
  5. I’m sad you’re leaving, but I know your future is bright and full of happiness. Go make the most of retirement, and don’t forget to keep in touch.
  6. You brought joy to work and now leave happiness behind you. Thank you for the memories, and please stay in touch as you embrace retired life!
  7. Work may have brought us together by chance, but you’re my friend by choice. While I couldn’t be happier for you, I will miss you dearly!
  8. Your retirement isn’t goodbye; it’s a bittersweet see-you-later, a fond farewell, and a heartful hope that the future ahead of you is as wonderful as you are.

MORE: 7 Best Retirement Gift Ideas to Celebrate a Career Well Spent

Family forever

  1. Dad, thank you for always showing me what hard work and following your passion look like. Your example inspires me every day, and it always will. Congratulations on a job well done. I can’t wait to see what you do with your retirement.
  2. Mom, you have always been my hero and my friend. Watching you live your dream with your whole heart showed me what life is all about. Enjoy your retirement, and know that you’ll never stop inspiring me.
  3. Congratulations on your retirement! I know the best part will be getting to spend more time with me — lucky you!
  4. Congratulations on an amazing career and a successful retirement. We all love you very much and couldn’t be prouder of your accomplishments!
  5. One adventure down, so many left to live. Congratulations on your retirement! I can’t wait to experience the next phase of life right by your side.
  6. As successful as you were on the job, your true legacy is here with your family. We can’t wait to face the future with you, whatever it may hold.

Lightening the mood

  1. That’s it? Just like that, you’re leaving us? Good for you, I guess. Have a retirement full of happiness!
  2. All the best stories have great endings — don’t make your retirement boring, OK? Live it to its fullest!
  3. Congratulations on your retirement. I hope you live out all your wildest dreams! Except the one where you are falling and can’t wake up…that one sounded a little scary.
  4. You may be young at heart, but you’re old enough to retire. Don’t let that get in the way of enjoying your next adventure!
  5. Happy retirement! I couldn’t be more excited for you. Now, will you please take me with you?
  6. Early bird specials in place of early morning meetings — sounds like a good trade to me!
  7. You came, you saw, you conquered. Now, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
  8. Goodbye tension, hello pension! May your retirement be filled with health, wealth, blessings, and a whole lot of fun.
  9. Every night of retired life is Friday night, so get out there and enjoy life’s big party!
  10. I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it. Happy retirement, my friend!
  11. Cheers to your retirement, my friend. Tell Florida we said hello!
  12. You were never the office clown, but you sure are leaving behind some big shoes to fill. Happy retirement!
Mature friends at a dinner party

Cheers to rest and relaxation

  1. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. No more pressure or deadlines. Just you, time, and the freedom to enjoy it.
  2. After all those years of hard work, it’s finally time to kick back and relax. You’ve earned the right to take it easy for a change. Happy retirement!
  3. Cheers to your retirement! Here’s to spending more time with your family — or at the lake!
  4. Happy retirement! “Someday” is finally here, so enjoy your retirement by living your best life today.
  5. Remember the meetings and deadlines and end-of-year reports? Well, those are all things of the past! Forget all about them and enjoy being completely and utterly free!
  6. Whether you’re sleeping in or soaking in the sun on the beach, you’ve earned the right to relax. Happy retirement!
  7. Here is a checklist for your retirement: Wake up whenever you want, go where you want when you want, pursue your passions with abandon, and spend as much time with loved ones as possible. Repeat.
  8. You’ve always worked hard; now, it’s time to play even harder. Enjoy your retired years!

Congratulations and well wishes

  1. Happy trails as you enter retirement. Here’s to hoping your skies are blue and the sun is shining wherever you go!
  2. May happiness and peace be the hallmarks of your retirement. If anyone has earned it, it’s you!
  3. The best things in life aren’t things — they’re people. Thank you for being a friend. I hope your retirement is everything you’ve dreamed of.
  4. Congratulations on your retirement. You always made the job look easy, so I’m sure retirement will be a breeze!
  5. I can’t thank you enough for your inspiration and guidance all these years. May your retirement be filled with good times and happy memories. You deserve it!
  6. Your career was incredible, and I have no doubt your retirement will be even better. Wishing you the best in the next phase of life!
  7. Happy retirement. May your days be filled with more of what you love.

Retirement gift ideas

A card is a great way to let a retiree know you care, but a gift to accompany your card shows you went the extra mile and will make the person feel even more special. Here are three of our favorites.


Hanna Marcus is the founder, head copywriter, and brand voice specialist behind the copywriting company Boundless Copy. Seven years as a copywriter, six years as a journalist in the newspaper industry, and a lifetime of being an extrovert taught her that all the best writing starts with sharing a good story. Sharing words that connect people and make them feel something remains her primary mission as a writer — no matter what she's writing about.

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