A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

100 Happy Retirement Wishes: Messages for Co-Workers, Friends and Family

These retirement wishes will let someone know you're thinking of them as they celebrate this major milestone

Happy retirement wish: Wishing you a retirement full of health happiness and friendship.
RD.com, Getty Images

What to write in a retirement card

We measure our lives in milestones: birth, first love, graduation, first job, marriage, first home, first child, grandkids … and eventually retirement. And like other milestones, retirement has the potential to change your life, whether you’re moving to one of the best places to retire or staying put. This is why retirement wishes are so important: You’re not just congratulating someone on an accomplishment—you’re celebrating and supporting them through a major life change. In short, it’s a big deal, and you need the right words to honor this momentous occasion.

No pressure, right?

You can pull inspiration from congratulations messages and perhaps include a few retirement quotes, depending on your relationship with the retiree. You might also want to interject a little humor. But all wishes for retirement should come from the heart and include these three things:

  • A congratulatory message
  • A memory or wish for their future
  • Your feelings

Yep, retirement card messages can be a little more involved, but they can be equally meaningful or fun. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more etiquette, humor, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.

Retirement wish on a floral background
RD.com, Getty Images

Retirement wishes for co-workers

  1. Huge congratulations on a job well done—for so many years!

  2. Thanks for sharing your expertise, wisdom and sense of humor with all of us. You will be greatly missed here.

  3. Your career has been impressive, and your example is an inspiration to me.

  4. Enjoy your retirement—you’ve earned it!

  5. I’ve enjoyed all of the time we’ve worked together, and I will really miss you. I hope you have a wonderful retirement.

  6. Excited to see what comes next for you—enjoy your second act!

  7. I see great things for you ahead! Happy retirement!

  8. You’re a gem of a co-worker, and it won’t be the same here without you.

  9. Our loss is your gain! I’m excited for you but know you’ll be missed around here.

  10. Happy day—it’s finally here! You made it to the finish line!

  11. May your future be as bright as your time here with us was. Congrats on retiring!

  12. Huge props for accomplishing such a big milestone.

  13. The good news is that you’ll finally be your own boss. The bad news is that you’re also your only employee.

  14. You may be retiring, but even though we’re not co-workers anymore, let’s stay friends.

  15. Let’s meet up soon and catch up. I’d love to hear about your next great adventure.

  16. Remembering all the good times we had working together and missing you already.

  17. We love everything you did for us. Now go do what you love for you!

  18. Working with you never felt like work—I hope your retirement is just as fun.

  19. I hope you have as much fun spending your money as you did earning it. (Actually, I hope you have way more fun!)

  20. Aw, go on, get out of here—you’ve got better things to do now than hang around this place! (Translation: Enjoy your retirement!)

Are all these retirement messages making you think about what your future might look like? Check out the best states to retire in to get some ideas!

Retirement wish on a floral background
RD.com, Getty Images

Retirement wishes for employees

  1. Best wishes for a long and happy retirement.

  2. Feel free to come back and visit anytime—just bring chocolate with you!

  3. You should be so proud of your career. We sure are proud of you!

  4. Thank you for all your hard work here—you’ve been an amazing team member.

  5. Congratulations on your retirement after so many wonderful years here.

  6. You officially have my permission to relax now! Not that you need it, but hey, old habits die hard.

  7. I’m excited to see what you write in the next chapter of your life. Congratulations!

  8. Thanks for all the time and work you put into making this company so great. Enjoy retirement!

  9. Congratulations on a long and impressive career. It’s been a pleasure working with you.

  10. Thank you for your dedicated years of service. You were a pillar of this company.

  11. I can’t believe this day has finally come! While I’m sad to see you go, I know this is the next big step, and I’m excited for you.

  12. It’s been wonderful working with you. Enjoy your retirement.

  13. Your new project is … nothing but fun and relaxation. Now get on that!

  14. I’ve always admired your work ethic and skills. Thanks for doing everything you did.

  15. Thanks for being such a dedicated and smart worker. When they made you, they broke the mold.

  16. Congrats, good luck, bon voyage!

  17. Working with you has truly been a delight, and I’ve learned so much from you. Happy retirement.

  18. So grateful for you and everything you’ve done here. Now you’re on to bigger and better things!

  19. It’s been a privilege to work with you, and we’ll miss you more than you know.
  20. The office won’t be the same without you, but we’re all excited to see you embark on your next adventure.

Whether someone offers you a sweet retirement message or gives you a retirement gift, don’t forget the thank-you message.

Retirement wish on a floral background
RD.com, Getty Images

Retirement wishes for bosses

  1. You’ve taken care of all of us for so many years—now it’s time to take care of yourself. Enjoy your retirement!

  2. You’ve been the best leader anyone can ask for, and the company won’t be the same without you.

  3. Huge congratulations to the retiree. We will miss you!

  4. We’ve all loved working for you and wish you the best in retirement.

  5. Happy retirement! And thanks for giving us a great reason to have a party!

  6. Today, it’s all about celebrating you and your incredible career.

  7. You’re a true professional who always led by example. You’ll be missed around here.

  8. I want you to know how much I appreciate all the sacrifices you’ve made for our team. Now go get some well-earned rest!

  9. You’ve got a new job: relaxing! Enjoy your retirement!

  10. Pro: You get to spend your time doing everything you’ve always wanted. Con: Now you have to make your own coffee. Seems fair.

  11. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure working for you. Happy retirement.

  12. Thanks so much for all your support and help and for being our biggest cheerleader. We will miss you.

  13. Thanks for being not just a boss but also a mentor, friend, coach and cheerleader.

  14. We’re sad to see you go but happy you’re moving on to bigger and better opportunities.

  15. Happy retirement! Send us a postcard from the beach!

  16. I can’t imagine this place without you! Enjoy your retirement, and know that you left big shoes to fill.

  17. Here’s to many happy golden years!

  18. The legacy you are leaving here will never be forgotten.

  19. Congratulations to the best boss ever! Enjoy your retirement—you’ve earned it.

  20. Know that all the balloons and cake aren’t because we’re happy you’re leaving but because we’re happy you’re escaping.

Celebrating a couple’s big day? You can’t go wrong with these happy anniversary messages.

Retirement wish on a floral background
RD.com, Getty Images

Retirement wishes for friends

  1. Congratulations on your retirement. I hope you enjoy every moment of it … golfing with me!

  2. Let me take you out, and we’ll toast your second act in style.

  3. Welcome to retirement with me! Jump on in—the water’s great!

  4. Wishing you a retirement full of health, happiness and friendship.

  5. We’ve gone from early meetings to early bird specials, and we still have each other to hang out with!

  6. Wait, are you old enough to retire? And if you are, does that mean I am too? Party time!

  7. Congrats on beating me to retirement!

  8. The end of this phase is just the beginning of a better, more exciting one.

  9. We were friends first, then friends and co-workers, and now back to just friends again—and I couldn’t be happier!

  10. Enjoy your retirement—but not too much. At least not without me!

  11. Congrats on retiring! Does that mean the next round of drinks is on you (to celebrate) or on me (because I’m the one who still has a salary)?

  12. You win. You retired first. But I’m coming in a close second.

  13. We’ve been through the highs and lows of our careers together, and I’m glad to see you ending yours on a high note. Cheers to your retirement.

  14. Now that you’re retired, it’s time to break out those “hopes and dreams” from our middle school yearbook. What would you like to do first: become president of the United States or kiss Sally?

  15. Retirement parties are the best parties we’ve had yet because everyone’s old enough to drink but not too old to enjoy a good party.

  16. Is this the beginning of an endless spring break? Think about it.

  17. Retirement isn’t the end of the road—it’s the on-ramp to the highway. Congrats on merging!

  18. Now that you’re done with managing crews, let’s see how you manage a cruise! May all your sailing be smooth from here on out.

  19. So … tie-burning bonfire at your place?

  20. Live. Love. Retire. Then laugh.

Make sure to avoid these retirement budget mistakes when planning your own retirement.

100 Retirement Wishes 5 Gettyimages 1129299366
RD.com, Getty Images

Retirement wishes for family

  1. May your retirement days be long and filled with fun and family.

  2. You’ve always set a great example for me in your career, and I know whatever you do next will be equally great.

  3. Wishing you nothing but sunny days and peaceful nights from here on out.

  4. I’m excited for all the new opportunities in your life. Happy retirement.

  5. You’ve always been one of the hardest workers I know, and I’m happy to see you finally get a break.

  6. My heart is overflowing with happiness and joy for you. Congrats on this milestone moment.

  7. Remember when everyone told you that when you retire, you’d have more time to spend with family? YAY!

  8. There’s so much fun and adventure ahead of us—cheers to your retirement!

  9. You are successful in everything you put your mind to, and I have no doubt that retirement will be just the same.

  10. Wave bye-bye to tension and hello to your pension!

  11. Congrats on retiring from work, but you’ll always have your job as my dad—and you will always be the person I look up to the most.

  12. I know your company is sad to lose such an amazing worker, but know that your family is overjoyed to spend more time with you. Here’s to retirement!

  13. You’ve worked so hard for others for so many years—now it’s time to work hard taking care of yourself. Happy retirement!

  14. If retirement is just turning another page, I’m so glad we’ll always be in the same book.

  15. I love you, I admire you and I’m so proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished. Huge congratulations on a job well done.

  16. My wish for you is that you’ll be proud of the work you’ve done, the person you’ve become and the future you’re creating.

  17. Wishing you the happiest, most relaxing retirement.

  18. May all your dreams come true in retirement.

  19. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of love, happiness and good health. Wishing all of this and more for you in your retirement!

  20. Don’t just think about what you’re retiring from. Remember what you are retiring to: me! I love you, and I’m so happy for you!

Different milestones require different sentiments, so bookmark these wedding wishes, get well wishes, condolence messages and graduation wishes, so you have the right words ready at any time.

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a health, lifestyle and fitness expert and teacher. She covers all things wellness for Reader’s Digest and The Healthy. With dual masters degrees in information technology and education, she has been a journalist for 17 years and is the author of The Great Fitness Experiment. She lives in Denver with her husband, five kids and three pets.