Your Farewell Retirement Letter & Thanks [to Co-Workers, Boss]

By Billie •  Updated: 09/06/19 •  10 min read

No matter how much you’ve looked forward to the day of leaving your place of employment, when the day comes, it might be a surreal experience. Make your transition easier for yourself and others by letting people know your plans.

Whether or not you’ve announced your departure, your colleagues will want to know when you’re leaving so they can arrange a party or mini send-off for you. Give them the courtesy to plan and the enjoyment of your appreciation, in a goodbye letter.

Do I Need to Write a Farewell or Retirement Letter to my Colleagues?

It is proper to inform your colleagues of your departure. Depending on your role and length of time with your colleagues, you may wish to personally explain your decision to those left behind (or rub your retirement celebration cake in their faces).

While writing a retirement notice is still the status quo, the process of writing a message that conveys exactly what you want to say in the proper format, can be time-consuming and stressful. To make the process easier, consult the sample letter below to guide your letter-writing.

What to Share With Colleagues About Your Retirement

Newspaper Retirement Notice Example

After 34 Wonderful & Rewarding Years at Henry Motors it is Time to Park the Car!

I would like to thank Don Henry (Dealer Principal) and Frank and Bob Henry (both retired) who put their faith and trust in me those many years ago.

You gave me a career second to none!

Thank you to my fellow workers. We have had so much fun over the years; the memories will always bring a smile to my face. We supported each other through good times and especially in tough times when we had to deal with events and losses out of our control. I am truly grateful.

To my Customers who number in the thousands: thank you for your support over all these years. Many of you I have come to consider as my friends. Not everybody gets to say that. You are what has made me successful and I have always realized and never forgot that!

I am sure I will continue to run into many of you as I start my new chapter in life, as it were.

Thank you again,

Sam Guerra

How Many Retirement Notices to Write?

may your weekend birthday go by totally unnoticed by your coworkers

It is up to you. Depending on your company culture, you may feel better submitting personalized letters or a quick email to each person in the office; in general, business etiquette suggests it is appropriate to personally address, sign and hand-deliver a letter to one’s direct supervisor, and (if time and energy allow), either write or email one’s close coworkers or team members. The decision is yours.

Awkward Retirement Situations

Downsizing, inopportune lay-offs, or a volatile work culture can create less than ideal circumstances surrounding retirement timing. 

The retirement letter is an ideal vehicle to take the high road during departure, leaving with graciousness, gratitude, and generosity towards those remaining at the company.

Instead of committing to paper for posterity all the anger and vitriol you may feel for the offending company, a much better path is to leave with a clean conscience, the perception of goodwill (at least on paper), and no burned bridges. You never know which contacts you might encounter after retirement, and it is best to extinguish any potential sparks of ill-will before they grow into unmanageable wildfires that ruin your joyful retirement years.

Here is the sample letter to edit as per your requirements. Use the letter as a guide for what to include and how to phrase your farewell:

Sample Farewell Letter To Coworkers

Dear esteemed co-workers,

After ten enjoyable years at Company, I will be retiring on May 31. Before my departure, I would like to thank you all for contributing to the happy years I’ve invested at this Company. Life won’t be the same without seeing each of your bright, eager faces on Monday mornings.

Prior to my date of leave, you are welcome to approach me with any questions or concerns, and I will be happy to assist with the transition as New Person assumes my responsibilities on June 1.

New Person’s contact phone number is 555-555-5555 and email address They are looking forward to working with you all! Please take a moment to welcome them to the team.

My retirement plans are up-in-the-air at the moment, and will surely consist of a vacation followed by the re-reading of many favourite books, completing home renovations, hosting and attending backyard bbqs, and cherishing visits with family and close friends. I am excited for this next chapter of Quality Time! 

[OPTIONAL] May our paths cross again soon. Maybe see you on the golf course! You can reach me at 555-555-5555 and/or

Best Regards,

Your Name


How to Say “Thank You” To Coworkers at Your Retirement

Once you have announced your intent to retire to greener pastures, odds are you will be the focus of a retirement party and the recipient of a bunch of congratulatory cards and a (often monetary) gift.

What To Write to Coworkers When You Retire: Retirement Thank You Messages

Keep your retirement message brief and to the point. If you are stuck on what to write, reminisce about the good times or share a funny story, or focus on what you appreciate about the people you work(ed) with and spent so much time with.

What is a good subject line for a goodbye retirement email?

People have limited attention reserves, and if you work in a busy office, go for simple over cute. The best subject line of your goodbye email should be descriptive, short, and simple such as: Thank you & Goodbye – My Last Work Day.

How to Say Goodbye to Your Work Team

How do you write a thank you note to a group of coworkers?

If you have spent many years working with the same team, you might begin your note by mentioning what a tough decision it was [to retire or leave your place of employment], and make sure to relate how much you enjoyed working on such a great team and with people of their calibre.

Say how thankful you are for everything they’ve taught you, and also be grateful for everything you were able to impart to them, if applicable and accurate.

  1. If you can do so without sounding pompous, remind others of your specific contribution and acknowledge people where appropriate.
  2. If you want, describe what you’ll be doing next and what you are looking forward to.

Here is a sample of what to say to your team on your last working day in the office:

Today is my last day at the office. I sign off today with warm memories of my time spent here and the work we’ve done together. Thank you to everyone who provided guidance, friendship, assistance, and of course, laughter. I will miss this team and hope we keep in touch beyond the workplace and wherever we may go. Thank you, and good luck to each of you.

More ideas of what to email your coworkers and work team on your retirement:

Bonus: Funny Email — In the Form of Leaving to Accept Another Opportunity and Not Necessarily Retiring:

I wanted to let you all know that I have accepted another opportunity [hitting golf balls all day] and my last day working here will be tomorrow, October 25. While I am looking forward to greener pastures, I will deeply miss working with each of you.

How Do You Say Goodbye to Coworkers on Your Last Day of Work?

Perhaps you want to slink away unnoticed after you leave work, or do not want to draw attention to yourself on your last day. If there are people at work you would like to keep in touch with, make sure you leave your job on a good note and let them know your plans so they don’t feel deceived or abandoned.

Tips when saying goodbye to your work, but want to let select colleagues know:

  1. Tell close colleagues in-person. They will want to know your plans and can help support you in your transition, and share in your celebration.
  2. Say goodbye to the masses via email. Email or group message your other colleagues and people you’ve worked with, and let them know your replacement so no balls are dropped.
  3. Get contact info for people you want to stay in touch with — you likely have their Linkedin profile already.

How to Thank Your Employer when Retiring

As a courtesy, thank your boss when you retire with a thank you letter, card, or by simply saying “thanks” during your retirement speech. You might show gratitude by delivering a cake or food arrangement to your boss, inviting them for a meal later, or doing something else appropriate to your length of employment and personal relationship with your boss.

If you are resigning instead of retiring, do the classy thing and hand in your letter of resignation accordingly.

Happy Retirement Wishes to a Retiring Colleague

Simple Thank You Notes for Coworkers, Colleagues, Bosses & Business Friends


I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada, and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

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