Writing a Retirement Appreciation Letter (with Samples)
Use these sample retirement appreciation letters as templates for your formal appreciation letter.
Like any appreciation letter, a retirement appreciation letter needs to be sincere. If the writer is not expressing sincere good wishes, the retiree will be able to sense it. The aim of the letter is to create happy feelings, especially for a person who is retiring from a job they may have held for years. People face retirement differently. Some cannot wait to get on to their next adventure, to travel or simply relax by their pool. Others are sad to leave their working years behind and may face retirement as a wasteland with nothing to do. They may receive lots of cards and congratulations when they retire, but a formal appreciation letter will be something to cherish.
Letter Should Contain Words of Recognition
The letter should contain words of recognition, admiration and gratitude so that the retiree leaves with a warm and positive feeling about the company, school or business. Writing a good appreciation letter is common courtesy and etiquette that is especially important when it is written to a retiree.
Recognition can be expressed by mentioning a few achievements the retiree has accomplished that made a difference at work. This can be as simple as a winning personality or as great as landing a big contract.
Admiration can be expressed according to the personal experience of the writer. For example, the writer can say that they were inspired by the retiree’s work ethic or by what a fair and forceful leader they were.
Gratitude can be expressed by the individual writing the letter. If it is a supervisor, they can state that the retiree made the supervisor’s job easier. If the writer is representing a board or faculty, he or she can express how much they all appreciated the support given or how the retiree made everyone’s job better.
The letter should congratulate the retiree on the accomplishment of their retirement. The congratulation message should be short and concise at one or two sentences at the most.
The writer can mention any personal or important moments that he or she shared with the retiree. This should also be brief and not a long description of a specific moment. It is enough just to remind the retiree about the incident.
Some retirement appreciation letters use humor to ease what could be a sad time. For example, the writer could say during our next board meeting, I will fondly think of you relaxing at the beach. If the retiree will be spending more time at home, the humor could include a mention of leaving a position of management to become their partner’s personal assistant around the house. Retirement often means the retiree has the freedom to travel and explore places they dreamed of for many years. If the writer knows the retiree is planning to travel, a lighthearted joke may be to say the retiree should not worry if his or her luggage is lost because it is possible to buy most things anywhere in the world these days.
Sarcasm is another way to express humor in a retirement appreciation letter. The writer can say that he or she hopes the retiree does not get exhausted playing golf or checkers.
The letter should be written in a timely manner. If there is a retirement party, the letter needs to be given before the party. An appreciation letter will seem out of place if it comes weeks after the fact. The common rule dictates that an appreciation letter should be written within three days after the date of retirement.
If the letter is an official document from the human resources department, it should be written on company letterhead. It should be addressed to the retiree, as it is a personal document. There is no place for a one-size-fits-all retirement appreciation letter. The letter needs to be precise, clearly stating specific examples of how the retiree is appreciated.
The letter should state its purpose at the very beginning, and it should close with best wishes for a happy retirement. It should be no longer than one page because this is not the place for long winded speeches and flowery language. It is certainly not the place for any criticism or harsh words. It may be acceptable to send the letter by email, but it should still be error-free and not have an automatic email signature.
Below are sample retirement appreciation letters. It is a formal business letter written with correct grammar and spelling. If the letter is from a company, it should be a formal letter that is typed and printed. If it is from a personal friend, it can be hand written on stationery.
The retiree will be pleased to receive such a letter and may show it to his or her family and friends. It may be wise to have the letter proofread by another colleague. This type of letter is usually handed to the retiree in person.
Sample 1 - Retirement Appreciation Letter Name of Writer Address of Writer City, State, Zip Code
Name of Retiree Address of Retiree City, State, Zip Code
Dear Name of Retiree:
On behalf of the entire faculty and staff, I want to congratulate you on the next milestone in your remarkable life, your retirement. You are an inspiration to us all with your unflagging optimism and team spirit as principal of Name of School, and we appreciate how you guided us for the past 22 years.
We will miss seeing your smiling face each morning, but will rest assured that you are enjoying your days at your cabin in the mountains. You have earned the undying love and respect of students and teachers alike. We all offer you heart-felt best wishes for a happy retirement.
If you find the time, please keep in touch and visit us once in a while.
Sincerely, Signature of Writer Printed Name of Writer
Sample 2 - Retirement Appreciation Letter Name of Sender Address of Sender City, State, Zip Code
Name of Retiree Address of Retiree City, State, Zip Code
Dear Name of Retiree,
I want to wish you the warmest congratulations on your retirement. I understand that you will be leaving the office on DATE. I will miss your positive and enthusiastic attitude, because you always kept me looking at the bright side of life.
Your extraordinary ability to keep the team on task in a perfectly harmonious way is a good example of your professionalism and attention to detail. I sincerely hope we can live up to your example and continue with our new team leader in the same way, although I doubt anyone has your infectious laugh and good humor.
I know retirement isn’t going to slow you down, so I won’t tell you to relax, and I wish you all the best in your new endeavor of environmental consultant for construction companies. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing with an email now and then. My address is [email protected] I’ll be watching your Facebook and Twitter pages for your news.
Congratulations again for a job well done in Name of Company.
Signature of Sender Printed Name of Sender By Andre Bradley