By Ernie J. Zelinski
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Free Retirement Speeches and 27 Tips 

for Making a Retirement Speech

One of the most satisfying times at work is either quitting time, reading retirement books and retirement quotes, or the time when you announce your retirement through a retirement letter and then make your retirement speech sprinkled with retirement jokes  and retirement farewell quotes at a retirement party.

What to say when one is about to retire is not always easy. Many soon-to-be retired individuals look for the right words for retirement as do colleagues of the soon-to-be retired individual who look for the right words for a retirement speech made to the retiree.

You can copy and paste the retirement speeches on this webpage into Microsoft Word or Word Perfect and then modify the names and dates as they pertain to you and your organization.

Sample Free Retirement Speech #1

To Be Given to a Retiring Employee


A warm welcome to everyone here tonight who has come to celebrate Jack Wilson's retirement. Although this is a special occasion for Jack, a number of us — including me — have mixed emotions about it.

It’s hard for me to be making this retirement speech and saying goodbye to Jack — but at the same time I want to wish him well. This is why I purchased a copy of the international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski for Jack as one of his retirement gifts. The subtitle of the book is Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor.

This book may provide some ideas for Jack on how to enjoy leisure time in his retirement years. He may need it given that he was such a hard worker while he was employed here. In fact, the book may prove to be much more important for creating an active, satisfying, and happy retirement than how much money Jack has saved — and we all know that Jack is a wizard with money and will not require any financial advisor to ensure that he has enough money in his later years.

Above all, all of us are happy that Jack gets to enjoy not only his leisure time but also the hard earned money that he acquired over the years. Of course, those of us who have to work into our eighties to acquire enough money to retire are green with envy of Jack.

Even so, we all want to thank Jack for all the great things that he accomplished here. Indeed, he helped put in place the very foundations that have made this organization such a success. This company, particularly our department, will be somewhat emptier without him, but I hope that Jack will come to visit often and lift our spirits so that the organization can continue to excel as it has while he was here.

Jack, in closing, I would like to wish you all the very best on behalf of all of us. I must quote from the back cover of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: "Retirement is the beginning of life — not the end!" We all know that the best part of your life is just beginning. Just the same, we are counting on you to occasionally cancel some of the many golf games that you have planned and come visit us instead.


Sample Free Retirement Speech #2

To Be Given By a Retiring Employee


making a retirement speech

Thank you, Eric, for those kind words, in making your retirement speech in my honor. Also, thank you so much to everyone here for attending and for the wonderful retirement gift of the fine set of golf clubs. I am glad that it wasn't the proverbial gold watch. Someone once said, "When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch."

Still more in the way of thanks, Eric, thank you for the copy of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, which I don't have. I am looking forward to reading it. I should mention, that as a hard of a worker as I was, I did buy and read the author's earlier book called The Joy of Not Working. This was about three years ago when I was contemplating retirement.

You may have noticed that was about the time when I stopped working ten or twelve hours a day and started working only eight hours a day or less and taking a lot more vacation time. This was practice for my retirement years. Actually, Zelinski's earlier book showed me how to work fewer hours and to be just as productive — but that is another story.

I do want to express my gratitude for some of the things that make this company so special — not only the financial success we have had, but the great people who work here and have shared in the fun and laughter that all of us have experienced over the years. I am certain that this atmosphere will continue long after I am gone.

I have just one final point to make. I feel that early retirement is an incredible gift. It's a gift that everyone should give themselves if they can. That is why I am retiring at 55 instead of 65. I am suggesting that each one of you do the same.

I read somewhere that retirement is when you stop living at work and begin working at living. I intend to do my utmost in following the adage that Eric quoted: "Retirement is the beginning of life — not the end!" I know, however, that regardless of how much I enjoy retirement, that I will miss everyone in this organization. That is why I intend to come and visit often — including the annual company golf tournament when I intend to put these great golf clubs to use and finally beat Eric at this game.


Key Point for Making Retirement Speeches
Keep Your Retirement Speech Simple and Short Given That:
  • The Lord's Prayer contains 56 words.
  • The Gettysburg Address contains 272 words.
  • The Ten Commandments contains 297 words.
  • The USA Declaration of Independence contains 300 words.
    The average USA TODAY cover story contains 1,200 words.


Tips for Making Spontaneous, Humorous Retirement Speeches

A good retirement speech will express best wishes of co-workers, friends, and acquaintances and at the same time mention the accomplishments and great character of the retiring person, before ending with a toast to the retiree.

Here are more tips.

  • Don't get unnerved. 
  • Take a few deep breaths. 
  • Compose self-thoughts. 
  • Stick to one subject. 
  • Close firmly and don't ramble on. 


A Retirement Joke to Add to Retirement Speeches Made by Co-Employees)

In your 40 years with this company, Eric, you have used up two truck loads of paper, sent out 1,600 reports, used up 1,800 pens and pencils, and, of course, told at least 10,000 jokes to lighten up the day for your co-workers. How much money you have made for the organization is in doubt, however.

A Corny Retirement Poem to Add to Humorous Retirement Speeches

A light-hearted retirement poem can lighten the atmosphere and add a finishing touch to retirement speeches made by a co-worker for a retiring employee.

Here is a sample of a corny retirement poem to add to your free retirement speech.:

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



A Request to Make a Speech

This is an e-mail that the author of The World's Best Retirement Book and The World's Best Retirement Gift recently received about the possibility of making a speech to a number of financial planners:

Dear Mr. Zelinski,

At our financial organization, you are regarded as somewhat of a celebrity. All of our Representatives have read your book, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. We now make it a practice to give this book out to our clients on every financial planning appointment.

We would love the opportunity to speak with you about a speaking engagement at our fall conference in Dallas, TX. The dates for this conference are September 17 & 18, 2008.

We would like to discuss what it would take to get you to our conference, what type of presentation you would like to do and the logistics involved.

Our President of Field Operations would like the opportunity to contact you directly to discuss this possibility. Please let me know how we may contact you.

This e-mail, in fact, came from Nettworth Financial which has now purchased over 2,000 copies of the international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski for its sales representatives and clients.

Important Tip - Use Humorous Quotes for

Making Retirement Dinner Speeches


Humor is a valuable tool in speech making. Good humor relaxes an audience and makes it feel more comfortable with you as the speaker. What's more, humor can bring attention to the point you are making. A good way to implement humor in retirement dinner speeches is to use humorous quotes about retirement.

Quotations about retirement can add a lot of humor and body to retirement speeches. Go to the home page on this website and you will find hundreds of quotations ideal for retirement speeches to help make them more humorous and spicy for your audience.

The World's Best Retirement Book

Retirement Cafe Book

A Letter about The World's Best Retirement Book

I received this letter in October 2008 from an individual in Red Deer, Alberta:

Hello Ernie:

Approximately 5 years ago I received your book The Joy of Not Working as a retirement gift and thoroughly enjoyed it. Last year I read it a second time highlighting many of the particularly interesting points and I am about to read it again as I have just completed 30 years.

Recently I attended a Planning for Retirement Course for Federal Government Employees and while your book was not mentioned, during our breaks, I encouraged a few to read it . This week I learned of your new book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and had a friend buy it in Edmonton. (it was sold out in Chapters Red Deer)

Just wanted clarification on your prices for Bulk orders which are
listed on your website as I am doing a presentation next week (Human
Resources) and I am certain others in my Department will want to purchase it/both.

Thank you for any information



This was my response to Ian:

Hi Ian:

Thank you for mentioning The Joy of Not Working to others.

Regarding How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, I have about 75 copies of the standard American edition on hand and another 200 or so of the American custom edition printed for Allstate Financial in North Brook, Illinois. (Allstate Financial purchase 3,700 copies with its
company logo on the front cover and I had an extra 250 printed to
use as samples).

If you would like to purchase in quantity, I can give you the same
prices that are on my webpage
and make it in Canadian dollars (shipping and GST are extra).

So long for now,

Ernie Zelinski

27 Tips for Making Your Retirement Speech


Retirement Toast Image


"There are always three speeches," stated Dale Carnegie, "for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave." Following you will find 27 more quotations about speeches that are great tips for enhancing and delivering your free retirement speech.

Tip #1 for Making a Retirement Speech

Once you get people laughing, they're listening and you can tell them almost anything.
— Herb Gardner

Tip #2 for Making a Retirement Speech

Be sure your brain is in gear before engaging your mouth.

— Unknown wise person

Tip #3 for Making Retirement Speeches

I would tell myself that I was about to address the largest mass assembly of idiots ever gathered in the history of mankind.
— Winston Churchill (when asked how he was able to make the great speeches that he made as Prime Minister of Britain)

Tip #4 for Making a Free Retirement Speech

There is but one pleasure in life equal to that of being called on to make an after-dinner speech, and that is not being called to make one.
— Charles Dudley Warner

Tip #5 for Making a Retirement Speech

Most people can tire of a lecture in ten minutes; clever people can do it in five. Sensible people never go to lectures at all.
— Stephen Leacock

Tip #6 for Making Retirement Speeches

Few sinners are saved after the first 20 minutes of a sermon.
— Mark Twain

Tip #7 for Presenting a Free Retirement Speech

If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again — a tremendous whack!
— Winston Churchill (advice to a young Prince of Wales on speech making)

Tip #8 for Making Retirement Speeches

Most people have ears, but few have judgment; tickle those ears, and depend upon it you will catch their judgments, such as they are.
— Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)

Tip #8 (a) for Making Retirement Speeches

Don't forget to include this book in your retirement speech and have it given to you as a retirement gift at your retirement party: How to Retire Happy, wild, and Free (The World's Best Retirement Book and Gift.

 Retirement Cafe Book

Tip #9 for Making Retirement Speeches

The best way to sound like you know what you're talking about is to know what you're talking about.
— Unknown wise person

Tip 10 for Retirement Dinner Speeches

When making a retirement speech in honor of someone who is retiring at your organization, buy him or her either a copy of The Joy of Not Working or How to Retire, Happy, Wild, and Free as a retirement gift. The title of either book alone will spice up your retirement speech and bring a smile to every face in the audience.
— Ernie Zelinski

Tip #11 for Making Retirement Speeches

Never be grandiloquent when you want to drive home a searching truth. Don't whip with a switch that has the leaves on, if you want it to tingle.
— Henry Ward Beecher

Tip #12 for Making Retirement Speeches

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
— Mark Twain

Tip #13 for Making Retirement Speeches

Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt (talking about making a great speech)

Tip #14 for Making Retirement
Dinner Speeches

A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.
— Peggy Noonan

Tip #15 for Making Retirement Speeches

Always be shorter than anybody dared to hope.
— Lord Reading, on speech making

Tip #16 for Making Retirement Speeches

Liberty don't work as good in practice as it does in speeches.
— Will Rogers

Tip #17 for Making Retirement Dinner Speeches

The problem with speeches isn't so much not knowing when to stop,
as knowing when not to begin.
— Frances Rodman

Tip #18 for Making Retirement Speeches

Speeches are like babies; easy to conceive but hard to deliver.
— Unknown wise person

Tip #19 for Making Retirement Dinner Speeches

Before I speak, I have something important to say.
— Groucho Marx

Tip #20 for Making Retirement Speeches

If you haven't struck oil in five minutes, stop being boring.
— George Jessel, on after-dinner speakers

Tip #21 for Making a Free Retirement Speech

When both a speaker and an audience are confused, the [retirement] speech is profound.
— Oscar Wilde

Tip #22 for Making Retirement Speeches

Eloquence: saying the proper thing and stopping.
— Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Tip #23 for Presenting a Free Retirement Speech

The best audience is one that is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk.
— Alben W. Bartley

Tip #24 for Making a Free Retirement Speech

It isn't HOW MUCH you say, but WHAT you say, HOW you say it and WHEN you say it.
— Unknown wise person


Tip #25 for Making a Retirement Speech

Words must be weighed, not counted.
— Unknown wise person

Tip #26 for Making Retirement Dinner Speeches

The ability to express an idea is well nigh as important as the idea itself.
— Bernard Baruch

Tip #27 for Making Retirement Speeches

Never speak more clearly than you think.
— Jeremy Bernstein

Bonus Tips for Making
Retirement Speeches

If you have something of importance to say, for God's sake start at the end.
— Sarah Jeannette Duncan

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
— George Burns

Note: Also See: Funny Speech Topics at The Fun at Work Cafe.



Give this some serious consideration before you finalize and present your retirement speech:

Retirement is a double-edged sword. You either make it work for you — or it will cut your happiness in half. The more you know about the secrets to a successful retirement, the happier you will be once you retire.

If you have ever longed to have more, to experience more, to BE MORE in retirement — than you have ever been any other time in your life — then How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free gives you all the information you will ever need.


  • 425,000 Copies Sold Worldwide for a Reason! 
  • It's The World's Best Retirement Book!  

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The Retirement Speeches Café


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


 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

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  The Joy of Not Working on




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