By Ernie J. Zelinski
Home Retirement Poems Retirement Speeches Inspirational Quotes Retirement Resources Retirement Wishes Retiring Happy Contact


Retirement Living image

Welcome to The Retirement Poems Café, the webpage on The Retirement  Quotes Café that brings you the best retirement party verse 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 that you can use as ideas to write your own. Also check out the retirement quotes on the home page.

Traditional Retirement Poem

Here is a poem to inspire you to greater heights, regardless of your age and your occupation:

Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved the earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
— from Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson 

Three Modern Poems about Retirement

Also check out the retirement quotes and retirement sentiments) for those who want to know how to retire happy, wild, and free.

One of Many Funny Poems

Happy retirement days are here at last.
The days of toil and stress are long past.
I worked almost all my life so that I can play.
Do I want to go back to work?
Absolutely, no way!
— Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT © - Used with Special Permission) 

Another Poem for a Retiree 

Here's to Mark
A great guy to whom we say goodbye.
We will miss his charm and presence ... no one has to ask why.
We will miss his creativity, his humor, and his smile.
But we are sure that Mark will use these traits to make his retirement worthwhile!
Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT © - Used with Special Permission)


Retirement Poems Image #1

You can always pen your own poems either about yourself or for someone else. If written for a retiring colleague, your poems should express affection for the person leaving and recognition for their contributions. These retirement poems can be included in retirement letters and retirement speeches to enhance their effectiveness.



Purchase The Joy of Being Retired on

Purchase The Joy of Being Retired on


Here is one of several corny retirement poems for men (written for a retiring colleague):

Bill Hagen, work is now past you
Allow me these words to say
You are now free as a bird,
Today is your retirement day.

Dave Erhard  (COPYRIGHT © - Used with Special Permission)

One of a different nature:

Retirement is the time of your life
for you to be
all that you planned to be.
To live life for the moment
to live happy, wild, and free.
— Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT © - Used with Special Permission)

Another one:

So many worlds,
So much to see and do,
So little seen
and done by others,
means many more things
to be seen and done
by extraordinary you.
from Life's Secret Handbook (Reminders for Adventurous Souls Who Want to Make a Big Difference in This World) © by Ernie Zelinski

Poem about the Right
Retirement Gift to Give to a Female Retiree

You can say it with flowers
You can say it with wine
But to make her stinkin' sentimental
Say it with a Lincoln Continental.
Robert Byrne

Retirement Quotes

The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. "Why," I answered without a thought, "now."
— David Grayson

Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
— Ben Franklin

Here is a funny retirement poem that hopefully won't deject you too much about your upcoming retirement:

An Ode to Old Age 

There's quite an art to falling apart as the years go by,
And life doesn't begin at 40.

That's a big fat lie.
My hair's getting thinner, my body is not:
The few teeth I have are beginning to rot.

I smell of Vick's Vapo Rub, not Chanel #5;
My new pacemaker's all that keeps me alive.
When asked of my past, every detail I'll know,
But, what was I doing 10 minutes ago?

Well, you get the idea, what more can I say?
I'm off to read the obituary, like I do every day;
If my names there, I'll once again start —
perfecting the art of falling apart.

— Unknown Wise Person

Here is a inspirational retirement poem that is a little more positive about being retired.

Making the Most of Retirement

Goodbye to work, you are on a high — you don't have to ask why!

You now gladly say adieu to your working life — goodbye to toil and strife.

Tomorrow, when morning comes at noon, you will lie in bed and look up at the ceiling.

There will be no one there to give you orders or more work — what a great feeling.

As the noon sun shines through your window, you will hear a dog bark and the noise of someone's feet.

It's the letter carrier, poor working soul, delivering your mail, you can hear him in the street.

Within you will come a warming glow — your new life will have just begun.

This is the day that you have looked forward to — knowing that all your work has been done.

Shortly, you will arise, get dressed, relax — there's still time left in the day for much merry-making.

You will make the most of it — knowing that most of your friends are at work stressed and mentally aching.

Will there be any reason to feel any stress or guilt at this time of your life?

Only when you forget to wake up early and make breakfast for your poor working wife.

Dave Erhard (COPYRIGHT ©  Used with Special Permission) 

Retirement Poem Image #2

Traditional Retirement Poem to Help You

Enjoy Your Retirement Living 

The following words of this poem were penned over 100 years ago by poet and writer Rudyard Kipling (perhaps better known for creating The Jungle Book):

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who."
 Rudyard Kipling

Two Modern Retirement Poem

The origins of this Irish Poem about retirement is unknown:

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
 Irish Retirement Blessing 

 This poem was submitted to me by Tom Crouse in 2012:



As time passes on
I turn the next page
To discover a new me
while I continue to age.


I may no longer be
Who I was long ago
But I still can matter
That much I know.


With a new set of tools
I have gathered from time
I keep looking forward
To more mountains to climb.


My best is not over
As the skeptics might say
I just learn  how to conquer
In a much wiser way.


So don’t sell me short
I am not nearly done
I’ve only just begun.


© Copyright 2012 Tom Krause

Used with Special Permission from:

Four Retirement Poems by Famous People 

An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven!
 James Thomson, 1700-1748, Spring

Don't you stay at home of evenings?
Don't you love a cushioned seat
In a corner, by the fireside, with your slippers on your feet?
 Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr

Fear no more the heat o' th' sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages.
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages.
 William Shakespeare

O, blest retirement! Friend to life's decline -
How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these,
A youth of labor with an age of ease!
— Goldsmith

Retirement Party Image 


Penned by a Retiree in Singapore

Here is a poem written by a retiree who resides in Singapore.

Ode to Retirement

I can read and write and paint.
Can even aspire to be a saint.
Left alone,
I could travel, teach and tutor.
Share guide and mentor Someone.
You my friends can remain blind
And kind
Or see in me a New find
Making again a difference.
 Ramasami Natarajan 


A Humorous Retirement Poem

Penned by an Unknown Retiree

Here is another poem written by a soon-to-be retiree who doesn't know when he will be a senior  whatever that is:

Retirement  It's All in How You

Play the Game, Isn't It?

Let's see now. How will I know when I am a senior.
Some places give me a senior's discount at 55, some at 60 and some at 65.
My government pension will be sent to me when I am 65.
My company will arbitrarily retire me at 65. (I'm going to beat them to the punch and retire at 60.)
So that means that parts of our society think 'senior' begins at 55.
How will I personally know?
Well, with a little bit of luck, I don't think I'll ever know.
It's all in how you play the game, isn't it?
 Unknown wise person

 Retirement Poem for Any One

Who Wants to Enjoy Not Being Married

I would be married, but I'd have no wife.
I would be married to the single life.
— Richard Crashaw (Poet in 17th Century)

A Poem By John Milton

On His Blindness 

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."

— John Milton


Two More Poems to Help You Retire

Learn to live well, or fairly make your will;
You've played, and loved, and ate, and drunk your fill:
Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age
Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage:
Leave such to trifle with more grace and ease,
Whom Folly pleases, and whose Follies please.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744), English satirical poet.

Absence of occupation is not rest.
A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd.
— William Cowper

Two Poems with a Zen Flavor 

Ten thousand flowers in spring
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.
— Wu-men


Youth, large, lusty, loving-
Youth, full of grace, force, fascination.
Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace, force,
— Walt Whitman 


7 Retirement Quotes 


Like a retirement poem or retirement party verse, a good quote about retirement can bring attention to the point you are making in your retirement card accompanying a retirement gift or retirement speech. Here are seven retirement quotes that you may want to consider:

#1 of Seven Retirement Quotes

But what, it may be asked, are the requisites for a life of retirement? A man may be weary of the toils and torments of business, and yet quite unfit for the tranquil retreat. Without literature, friendship, and religion, retirement is in most cases found to be a dead, flat level, a barren waste, and a blank. Neither the body nor the soul can enjoy health and life in a vacuum.

#2 of Seven Retirement Quotes

Sex is Number 1 of my Top 10 joys in retirement. Number 2 is reading
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. I forgot the other 8.
— from Graffiti for the Enlightened Soul

#3 of Seven 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 Seven 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

Afraid of Retirement?

You Need the Best-Selling

Retirement Book on

Retirement Cafe Book

  • Over 425,000 Copies Sold  
  • Published in 10 Languages  

Purchase  How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (The World's Best Retirement Book) through these direct links:

#5 of Seven Retirement Quotes

You think your job is tough — try trading with Ernie Zelinski. His [retirement] job is not working, and he's been doing it successfully for the last 14 years.
Keiko Ohnuma, Business Writer, Oakland Tribune (writing about The Joy of Not Working)

#6 of Seven 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 Seven 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

Again, poems about retirement can add a lot of humor and body to retirement dinner speeches, but so can quotations about retirement. Go to the home page on this website and you will find many more quotations ideal to add to your retirement cards or retirement party ideas.

A Teacher Retirement Poem by Richard Armour

Retired is being twice tired, I've thought
First tired of working,
Then tired of not.
Richard Armour


A Teacher Retirement Motto

I Used to Teach  Now I Have No Class.
Author Unknown

A Retirement Poem by Robert Browning

Grow old with me!
The best is yet to be.
 Robert Browning

Retirement Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,
To some good angel leave the rest;
For Time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year's nest!
 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Retirement Party Verse by William Butler Yeats

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
— William Butler Yeats

 Retirement Poems for the School Principal or Any Other Retiree Who Wants to Truly Enjoy the Moment When He or She Retires

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
— John Dryden

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
— John Greenleaf Whittier

Glad that I live am I;
That the sky is blue;
Glad for the country lanes,
And the fall of dew.
— Lizette W. Reese

“People report being happier when they are with friends than when they’re with a spouse or child,” according to research cited in a recent cover story in Psychology Today magazine. This, indeed, is something for retirees to ponder. Since friendship is an important aspect of having a happy retirement, retirees should check out the:

      Friendship Poems on the Friendship Café 

Also See:

Retirement Poems on The Retirement Cafe by Ernie Zelinski


Retiree's Poem (or Lament

about Retirement)

Late to rise
Early to bed
Collect that pension
Before you're dead.
— Author Unknown

"Get this book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free if you look forward to a retirement with 'zing.' "

— Nancy Paradis, St. Petersburg Times

Retirement's #1 Retirement Book  . . . 

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is so rich with retirement wisdom, including a chapter about where to retire, and has such immense power to change lives, that it now appears in's number 1 position  out of over 14,000 listings for retirement-related books  when you type "retirement" or "retire" into's search feature.

  Purchase How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free Today: Logo Click Here to Purchase on 


COPYRIGHT © 2022 by Ernie J. Zelinski
Author of The World's Best Retirement Poems Book
All Rights Reserved 

 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

    OVER 425,000      COPIES SOLD 

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

 The World's Second Best Retirement Book at

OVER 315,000      COPIES SOLD


  The Joy of Not Working on




The Joy of Being Retired Image


Purchase The Joy of Being Retired directly through these links:

The Joy of Being Retired on


The Joy of Being Retired on