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 How to Write a Retirement Letter

Welcome to The Retirement Letters Café, the webpage that brings you the best sample retirement letters for the retired or soon-to-be retired man, woman, teacher, school principal, nurse, military person, soldier, policeman, firefighter, pastor, letter carrier, etc. Best of all, these are all free retirement letters that you can use as samples or templates to write your own. You can also sprinkle your letters and retirement speeches with the great retirement quotes and retirement sayings found on the homepage or with retirement farewell quotes.

What to say when one is about to retire does not always appear to be easy. Even if you have verbally informed your boss of your intention to retire, it is still proper to send a retirement letter near the date of your retirement date. How to write a retirement letter is not all that difficult. Your letter can be formal or quite informal. It will depend upon your relationship with your supervisors in the organization.

The last paragraph can offer your supervisors and your colleagues best wishes for the future.

Some employees in their letters offer the company assistance after the retirement date in training their successor to make the transition easier. Following are two sample retirement letters which should how to write a retirement letter.

Letter Retirement Sample #1

(Use as a Retirement Letter Template)


Dear Sir:

I hereby give you a months notice of my intention to resign from my position as Director of Marketing. I have decided to take early retirement since life is so short. As Ernie Zelinski says in his How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, "it is better to retire too early instead of too late."

Although I am looking forward to retiring happy, wild, and free, I will miss working for the company and with my former clients and colleagues.

I wish you and the company good fortune. I would like to thank you for having had me part of the organization for the last 10 years.


Mark Evans




Sample Retirement Letter #2



Dear Chairman and Board of Directors:

I, Brian Harper, in accordance with what I believe to be a spiritual calling, do hereby announce my retirement as Executive Director of this Company. This will be effective December 12, 2007. I came to this decision after reading The World's Best Retirement Book (How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free) and agreeing with the author who states, "Retiring too late means you don't get another chance."

I have been with this organization for almost seventeen years and have enjoyed every moment of it. Since I began in 1998, we have created one of the most successful and innovative financial organizations. It is with much thought and deliberation that I have made this decision. After discussing this with my family, and considering my personal goals and my continuing journey as an individual, I believe that I have made the right decision. I have given this company my best over the years and I am proud of my accomplishments. It is time for me to retire, however, because it is an opportune time for someone else to lead this organization to greater heights as it is time for me to take myself to greater heights as an individual.

In ending, I want to emphasize that I will forever be grateful to this organization for having given me the opportunity to be a part of the accomplishments and the great times we have had over the years.

If I ever need a retirement job, I would hope to be able to come back to this company.


Brian Harper




Letter Retirement Sample #3

Retirement letters don't have to be formal if you don't want them to be. You can even sprinkle them with retirement poems and retirement jokes to give them some pizzaz.

Ian Hammond of Montrose, in the county of Angus, Scotland, was itching to leave his job and did so at an opportune time. After reading The Joy of Not Working by Ernie J. Zelinski, Hammond decided to take early retirement. A plan of action helped him achieve his goal of doing something more productive with his life than merely working for a living.

Unlike most people who don't even know how to write a retirement letter, Ian drafted his letter more than a year before he actually left his job. Of course Ian was not of traditional Retirement Age. This letter was posted in his electronic calendar manager as an "out-of-office reminder." Ian showed this retirement letter (actually his notice of resignation) to his boss and his co-workers several months before his exit (some thought is was a joke). Following is Ian's letter, which he kindly allowed me to use as a sample letter in my retirement books:



Dear Corporation:

I will terminate my employment on the 30th of September, to pursue a more rewarding lifestyle which I intend to enjoy for at least the next several years. The time wasted in this job, whether in circular arguments, writing unread reports, or performing substandard work due to inadequate resources and poorly trained staff, is worth more to me than the recognition and reward that the company sees fit to deny me.

It is with much pleasure that I announce that, after spending sometime with my dad in Cornwall and with friends in France, I will overwinter in New Zealand for four months, camping and cycling. On my return I intend to pursue several interests: 

  • Study for an astronomy degree;
  • Speak Spanish and German fluently;
  • Write and publish a travelogue, short stories and poetry;
  • Read all the "classics";
  • Volunteer as an overseas science/French/English teacher;
  • Study for an electronics degree;
  • Cycle around the world;
  • Compete in an international chess tournament;
  • Play classical guitar to concert standard;
  • Learn tourist Italian and Portuguese;
  • Paint watercolors;
  • Do ten things I haven't thought of doing yet!


If I achieve a third of these aims, I will consider my time well-spent. The corporate work ethic and its success depend on the uncritical thinking of those who believe that they are making a difference and are being recognized for it.

Best wishes for your future, if you want one.

Ian, 26th of May 1997




I don't know about you, but I found Ian's retirement letter much more inspiring than most. I suggest that you use Ian's list of interests in his retirement letter as a model for creating your own list to pursue on a sabbatical or in retirement.


The Retirement Letter That Wasn't

In 1969, after running his partnership for nearly two decades with phenomenal success, Warren Buffett became frustrated. So he wrote a retirement letter to his partners in his investment partnership, Buffett Partnership Ltd.

Buffett changed his mind after writing the letter. He actually retired for a short time only. He bought Berkshire Hathaway and fortunately for much of the world (including the good of society in light of his future philanthropic gift), he made it one of the most successful investment firms in the world. Whether Buffett submits another retirement letter remains to be seen.

Retirement Sample Letter #4

(Use as a Retirement Letter Template)



Dear Dr. Morgan:

After having just read How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski, it is my intention to retire at the end of July and take advantage of the Early Retirement Program.

I have served this company and its clients for over 25 years. My colleagues and clients have been a central part of my life. While I look forward to the opportunities retirement will bring me, it still saddens me to be leaving this organization. I will miss the many personal and professional relationships that I have developed while here.

Should you require any assistance in locating certain information after I leave, please do not hesitate to contact me.

As I spend my retirement years with my grandchildren, or traveling all over the world, I will reflect fondly from time to time on my time here.


Joseph Kendan



Sample Retirement Letters

Employer to Employee

This letter of retirement is designed for a company to send to an employee. 


Dear Mr. Blocker:


I am writing to you at the time of your retirement to thank you personally for your valuable contribution to our department throughout your term of office. Since your appointment in 1967, the department's clients and your fellow employees have repeatedly reported on your devotion to duty.


Our department is sorry to lose you.


I offer you good wishes for retirement health and happiness in your well-earned retirement.


Yours sincerely,


A. W. Williams
General Manager






Sample Retirement Letter for Teachers

Teacher's Retirement Motto: I Used to Teach. Now I Have No Class.
— Unknown retired teacher

The letter below can be used as a letter retirement sample for teachers who intend to retire at the end of a term or semester. You can copy and paste this retirement letter into Microsoft Word or Work Perfect and then modify the names and dates as they pertain to you.



Dear Principal or School Superintendent:

Please accept this as notification of my retirement effective June 30, 2010 after serving the School District for 30 years and 5 months. This is in accordance with Article 219 of the Bellington State Teachers’ Bargaining Unit Collective Agreement.

I wish to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to you for your cooperation, understanding, and support during my employment here. I would also like to express my appreciation to my fellow teachers and other colleagues for their support and friendship throughout my stay here.

Please forward to me all the necessary documentation and information pertinent to the retirement process and information on the complete benefit plan for retiring teachers. Thanks again for your cooperation and support for so many years.


A. Happy Retiring Teacher




Of course, depending on the School Board and the teacher, every individual retiree will have a unique situation, circumstances, and terms and conditions of service. Therefore, the same retirement letter template cannot be perfect for every teacher. The sample retirement letter can be customized easily according to the individual teacher's needs.

Note: See my Squidoo Lens for more sample farewell letters for retirement, a letter of intent to retire, and an intent retire letter sample. 

Letter of Intent to Retire Image #4


10 Retirement Quotes and Retirement Sayings for

Retirement Letters for Teachers 

Quotations about retirement can add a lot of humor and body to retirement letters. Go to the home page on this website and you will find many more quotations ideal to add to your retirement letter sample. 

#1 of Ten Retirement Quotes

I'm not retiring from life, just a job.
— Unknown wise person

#2 of Ten Retirement Quotes

There are an enormous number of people in this country who have retired on the job. I don't want to be one of them.
— Unknown wise person

#3 of Ten Retirement Quotes

Retirement is wonderful if you have two essentials — much to live on and much to live for. I believe that I now have both.
— Unknown wise person

#4 of Ten Retirement Quotes

By the age of 65, most of us have accomplished whatever work-related goals we are going to reach. If you haven't done it by then, chances are you aren't going to do it. Take the retirement, take the pension, take the Social Security, and sail off into the sunset.
— Sue Lasky


#5 of Ten Retirement Quotes

If not now, when?
— Zen Koan

#6 of Ten Retirement Quotes

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all
the friends I want to see.
— John Burrough

#7 of Ten Retirement Quotes

My important work is done here. Why hang around when there is so much much to do in retirement?
— Unknown wise person

#8 of Ten Retirement Quotes

The day that I have long wished for has now come.
— Unknown wise person

#9 of Ten Retirement Quotes

I intend to enjoy every retirement day as if it was my last and I imagine that one day I will be
right about it.
— Unknown wise person

#10 of Ten Retirement Quotes

Age [along with retirement] appears to be best in four things — old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
— Francis Bacon 


Sample Letter Retirement #6


Dear Recipient:

As required by my Agreement of Employment, I hereby give you one months notice of my intention to leave my position as of August 1.

As you are aware, I have not been well for quite some time. Consequently, I feel it is better to take early retirement and leave the organization at this time. My apologies for my not knowing how to write a retirement letter.

I wish you and the company good fortune. I would like to thank you for having had me part of the organization for the last 10 years.

Yours sincerely,

Shirley Markham




NOTE: Also see Teacher Retirement Quotes and Funny Retirement Quotes.

If you are about to submit your retirement letter and make your retirement speech, no doubt you would like to know . . .

  • The Secrets to an Effortless, Happy Retirement

  • The Secrets to Having Everything You Want in Retirement


Then give yourself the most important retirement gift that anyone can receive:

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by Ernie J. Zelinski — All Rights Reserved
Author of The World's Best Retirement Book


 I will do today
what others won't,
so I will have
tomorrow what
others don't.
— John Addison
No organization — government or
otherwise — can take great care of you in retirement.     Organizations aren't capable of this — only  you are!
— from Life's Secret Handbook

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How to Retire Happy on


How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on

Surveys of seniors overwhelmingly      suggest that higher incomes don't drive satisfaction in   retirement. That said, there is a minimum
of income required to enjoy retirement.
— Dan Richards
I'm regularly asked     what my [retirement]  plan is, and I    deliberately don't have much of a plan. I've had lots of plans in my life and it might be nice to have a period      that is less planned.
— Malcolm Hamilton, Expert on Pensions 
& Retirement Planning

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