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How to word retirement wishes

Updated March 23, 2017

A well-worded retirement message can make your esteem clear to the retiree that you hold dear. If you find yourself charged with the task of composing a message to a retiree, you may engage in a long period of staring blankly at the card you wish to fill. Instead of looking at the writing of this message as a complex task, break it down into manageable parts to increase your ability to effectively convey your thoughts through writing.

Address the retiree by name. If you commonly refer to the retiree by a nickname or with a title, such as aunt or uncle, it is permissible to use this nickname or title in your salutation as it personalises your message.

Congratulate the retiree on his accomplishment. Keep this congratulations concise, dedicating only one or two sentences to the congratulations as a whole to ensure that you don't ramble on in your well-wishing.

Express your envy if necessary. Telling the retiree how envious you are that he gets to leave behind the rigours of the workforce and engage in daily rest and relaxation is an easy way to give your well-wishes a slightly humorous undertone.

Personalise the message with a reflection upon a time that you shared with the retiree. If you recently shared a personal or important moment, or there is a time in the past that you and the retiree likely both look upon fondly, reference this, but don't ramble on about it. A brief reference will likely be sufficient to bring the event back into the retiree's mind.

Add a touch of humour with a retirement-related joke or funny quote.

Include a complimentary close. End your message with a standard "sincerely" or "yours truly" if the retiree is a friend or acquaintance, or an endearing "love" if you and the retiree share a very close and loving bond.

Sign your name or the names of the individuals from whom the well-wish is coming. If the card is from a group, you may wish to let each group member sign it for himself.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.