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Tips for Writing a Retirement Letter: Getting the Format Right

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/30/2011

The standard format for a retirement letter is relatively simple and concise but there are important details and sentiments to include. Such a letter is appropriate in many instances, so we’ll cover the fundamentals to make writing one a painless process for you.

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    Purpose, Tone and Sentiment

    Retirement Party When that beautiful stage of retirement is looming nearer on the horizon, drawing up a retirement letter for your employer is in order. As in most matters in business, there is a generally accepted way of doing things, and utilizing a standard format that is appropriate is no exception.

    By the way, if you want an actual template to download and just type over, read the following article regarding free letters of recommendation templates. That piece will give you links to sources for letters that are similar to this particular format so just follow the same links provided there. By the same token, you can simply copy and paste the sample format below into a program like Microsoft Word and you’d only have to substitute your details into it.

    This type of letter is polite, business like, and formal despite the urge that you might feel of blowing out those doors like a school child and never looking back. Gratitude is important in life and you want to move into retirement with a feeling that doors were closed appropriately. Leave any unpleasant, unjust experiences you may have had with the company out of the letter and out of your life from now on.

    Therefore, the letter serves to thank the employer for keeping you on all those years and to say goodbye. If you want to throw your own retirement party, you may want to check out the free and easy ways to create as many invites as you’ll need that you can find reading Free Invitation Templates.

    Image credit/flickr.com/BUECE

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    Sample Format

    Date

    Employer Contact Information

    Name

    Title

    Company

    Address

    City, State, Zip Code

    Salutation

    Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

    First Paragraph

    The body of the letter should advise an employer that you are planning on retiring and the specific date at which your retirement will take place. Just about all of your different types of business letters are better served by answering in clear concise terms the who/what/when/where and why, wherever it is relevant.

    Middle Paragraph(s):

    Here’s where a little schmoozing is usually appropriate since the company did provide a living for you and even if it wasn’t the healthiest of work environments, carrying bitterness and resentment into retirement is the worst thing you can do. Let bygones be bygones and kill them with kindness. Therefore, use this portion of the letter to show appreciation and gratitude for all the opportunities, promotions and any awards you received while employed there. No reason to go into a great amount of detail, just show some genuine appreciation for the company and the relevant parties you worked with and for along the way.

    Final Paragraph:

    Conclude the letter with an offer to render any assistance you can in the transition process by helping train up the person appointed to your position along with any other help that might be appropriate. Perhaps express the dubious notion that you will miss working with the firm. Give your warmest wishes to everyone you'll be leaving behind. Some folks also like to leave a very brief synopsis of their immediate plans after retirement as well. That usually makes it easier for employers to plan some sort of themed, festive retirement party.

    Complimentary Closing:

    Sign with something you comfortable with such as, Kindest regards, Sincerely, or Respectfully yours,

    Your Signature

    Your Typed Name

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    Conclusion

    Keep your tone appreciative and positive. Remember to give your employer an appropriate amount of time to make adjustment for your departure as well. With that, get ready to enjoy all that time off, but stay busy doing the hobbies you enjoy and seeing the family you love.