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A Work Retirement Speech

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
Retirement Speech Work Colleagues Family

Making an upbeat, positive retirement speech is the perfect way to end a successful career. Retirement is a time to reflect and celebrate a job well done and a speech to your colleagues, and possibly family, will help you to seamlessly move onto your next life stage.

You do not want to underestimate the impact of retirement. For many people, it can be a very difficult time, as you change from being a working person to a retired person. Indeed, it can take a bit of getting used to as your well-established daily routine is totally different. Even if you are having a personal struggle with coming to terms with your impending retirement, making a speech, however short, to your colleagues will help you to accept the changes.

For many people making a retirement speech, they do so at their retirement celebration. This is often a gathering of colleagues and family, all wanting to congratulate you on your career and wish you the best for your retirement years.

1. Introduction

Start by thanking all your guests for coming. Even if you are having a relatively low-key retirement event, such as a lunch on your last day at work, it is good to acknowledge the occasion.

  • Start by thanking your guests
  • Talk a little about when you started your career

Example: It is a real pleasure to see so many faces, old and new, here today and I really appreciate you all making the effort to come and help me start my retirement. I know that mine is one of the old faces and while I am proud to have clocked up thirty years at this company, it seems like only yesterday that I was one of the fresh-faced new recruits.

2. Share Some Stories

It is fine to mention that you find retirement a little daunting, but it is also important to highlight the positives of your career and how your colleagues have contributed. Now is the time to give a few amusing or poignant anecdotes about your time at the company. Try to include some of the people that are present and do not tell any tales that may embarrass anybody.

  • Talk about your time in the job
  • Highlight what you have learned

Example: Over the past thirty years I’ve seen some real changes here and I’m pleased to have been a part of the success. When I first joined, H.G Taylor was just a small, local electrical retailer and now there are five stores across the region. I’ve really taken a pride in building the local presence of Taylor’s. Even though the best selling product – televisions – is the same now as it was when I started, we all know how much technology has changed in that time. Reaching retirement – when I still think I am about 25! – has shown me that however much things change, they also stay the same.

3. Plans for Retirement

It’s good to share some details of what you plan to do with yourself in your retirement. If you’re an avid golf player, your colleagues may already have an inkling that they’ll find you on the golf course, but if you tended to keep your hobbies to yourself outside of work, you can give an insight into your private life. You may also wish to mention your family now, especially if you have grandchildren who you will be able to spend more time with, or to thank your husband or wife for supporting you while you were working.

  • Talk about how you want to spend your retirement
  • Thank your family for their support
  • Wish your colleagues a successful future

Example: What I am hoping is going to change is how early I have to get up! For over forty years I’ve set my alarm and, pretty much every day, wished I could have a cup of coffee and read the paper instead of getting up! I’m sure I will drive my wife crazy for the next few weeks as I plan to catch up on some well needed rest! But after that, I am looking forward to improving my golf handicap and spending some more time with Emily and Alice, my lovely granddaughters. I’d like to thank my wife, Joan, for being so supportive of my career and I plan to take her on a trip on the Orient Express to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary in June. Thank you all for playing such an important role in my career and I hope that you will continue to build H.G Taylor well into the future.

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