Crafting a Thank You Retirement Speech

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man thinking 2Even as you sit down to write your thank you retirement speech, there are probably many ideas going on inside your mind about how to go about it and what to include in it.

Having had a great, successful career and achieving many wonderful things in your life, there comes a time when you must acknowledge all the contributions of the people who helped you reach that status where you are today. You need to show your appreciation for the people who stood by you through all your good and bad times. And, you need to remember the people that helped shape the person you are today with appropriate retirement thank yous.

There is no better time than the retirement speech to tell them how you feel. This is the perfect time when you’re ready to close one chapter of your life and begin another. Use these examples to help you understand how to say thank you.

Thank You Retirement Speech to the host

Begin your talk with thanks to the person who introduces you. It could be your manager, principal, superior officer or any other top official who knows you well and has been working with you for a while. Sometimes juniors that you brought into the company can also be assigned the task of introducing you. Acknowledge all the things they say about you, and you could try responding to them with an anecdote or quip of your own.

For example: “Mr./Ms. XXX has just introduced me as his/her mentor and has talked about how I helped him/her integrate into the company. (He/she is biased a little so you don’t have to believe everything he/she says.) [Pause for the laughter to settle] While I appreciate him/her giving me credit, I would say that he/she has been successful because of his/her own talent and hard work.”

Thank You Retirement Speech Target to Employer or Owner

Next, be sure to thank the person who hired you and made your career with the company possible. It could be the owner of the company or a manager or any other human resources official. If the person is present in the audience, you could talk about your first few days in the company immediately after being hired and how comfortable they made you. But, if the person is absent, remember him/her fondly in your thank you retirement speech.

For example: “My first impression of Mr./Ms XXX was that of a very friendly, genial person that was bustling with energy and enthusiasm. I took an instant liking to him/her and made up my mind, immediately, that this is the kind of dynamism that is going to take this company places. And, I was definitely going to be a part of it.”

Acknowledge Your Team, Coworkers, and Colleagues

No one can be successful in his or her endeavors without the help and support of an efficient team. The retirement dinner speech is the perfect time to thank them for contributing their hard work and dedication so you could bring projects to successful closures. You also need to thank your colleagues that might have covered for you when you needed time off like in times of family or health emergencies or helped you with heavy workloads. Avoid mentioning names in particular because you risk overlooking someone.

For example: “My most successful and memorable project was the one we worked for [XXX Company]. I would just like to say that I couldn’t have done it without the excellent legwork and long hours that my team members put in with me. I hope I wasn’t a hard taskmaster. [Another pause] Thanks a lot!”

Recognize Your Family’s Support in your thank you retirement speech

The most important contributing factor in any person’s success is the unconditional love and support of his/her family. Your spouse has probably helped you through career ups and downs, cheering you on and offering a shoulder to lean on when you needed it. In their own way, kids also help simply with their innocence and unquestioning belief in you. Like every parent knows, nothing refreshes you after a hard day’s work better than your child’s smile. Let them know how much you mean to them.

For example: “My life and career would be incomplete without the love of my darling wife/loving husband. Thank you for being with me every step of the way. I will now do my best to make up for all the missed anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentine’s Days. I hope you can forgive me. To my kids, thank you for being the greatest treasures of my world. I love you all.”

Remember the Organizer’s Efforts

Your retirement party and the warmth and regard you’re experiencing is the culmination of the efforts of someone who took the time to organize it for you. Make sure you inquire about the people responsible for making it happen and thank them in your retirement speech.

For example: “I feel overwhelmed with all the retirement wishes you people have extended to me. Thank you so much for being here with me on this special day of my life. I will cherish these moments always. But, before I sign off, I would like to say a very sincere thank you to Mr./Ms. XXX who has taken time from his/her very busy schedule to organize this event for me. I have truly enjoyed myself just as I know everyone here also has.”

As you can see from the many retirement speech examples that every basic rule of giving your talk has been followed. The talk is short and infuses just the right amount of humor without targeting anyone. In fact, the best kind of humor is the one that is directed at you. You come across as human and fallible, and that builds an instant connection with your audience. The talk also includes anecdotes and a little about what you’re going to be doing in the future.

Finally, the sample retirement speech has the most important aspect in it. And, that is appreciating everything that the people in your life have helped you with.



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