If you are in need of some help with what to write in your retirement card but would prefer to use your own words as opposed to using one of the ones provided here then this guide and selection of tips on making the wording sound both appropriate and well meaning should be perfect for you.
Firstly – don’t panic or worry! The fear of offending the person you will be sending your card to is normal as words have the power to both uplift and do harm, so it’s natural to be concerned with making it sound right. However, don’t dwell on it. The time you’ve taken and effort to send a card in the first place will be appreciated, and as long as your words are genuine it will show. Remember that even small gestures will be welcomed and if the wording isn’t exactly right or as perfect as a bought greetings card it won’t matter to the recipient if they feel it has come from the heart.
However we understand that you may be wanting more than reassurance, so try some of these hints, tips and pointers for writing your retirement card:
Who is the message for?
Before you start writing your retirement message knowing who it is intended for is imperative. It’s one of the most important elements for finding the most appropriate words. Are they a friend, relative or work colleague? Are they just an acquaintance or do you consider them to be much closer than that.
If you don’t know the person the card is for very well then, or they are just an acquaintance then it’s probably best to keep it simple without being too specific or emotional. A basic message will suffice. And make sure to avoid humour! It could be extremely inappropriate if you don’t know them, or they’re sense of humour, well.
If its intended for a friend then that gives you more options. You can introduce some humour if it fits that person’s personality and you can be confident they won’t take offence. You could perhaps include a story or anecdote that is fitting, but try to stay positive. Retirement is, for most people, a big event and something to be welcomed. You can try to reflect that in your message.
Offering to Spend Time With Them
If you are close to the person then it may be that you are looking forward to spending more time with them. If they have more free time now you might want to arrange to do something with them. If you do though then ensure you keep to your word and follow up with them at a later date.
What NOT to say?
There are some things that you will definitely want to avoid saying:
- Avoid using phrases like “it’s for the best” or “I/we know how you feel”, as these could easily upset or annoy the recipient. They may not have felt it was “for the best”.
- Don’t compare yourself with them. Be it from a positive or negative angle, everyone is different and whilst you may feel you are connecting by showing how you’ve experienced something similar, it may not go down well with them.
- Definitely do not say that they were past their best or unable to work anymore. This is very inappropriate and should definitely be avoided!
Other Things to Avoid
- Do not send a tweet, Facebook or text message if you know the person well! Always make sure you send an actual card, and try to make the effort to write it by hand. Printing it will make it seem less personal.
- Don’t promise to see more of them or do something that you know you won’t be able to deliver on. It may be tempting with the free time they’re likely to have now but if you are not in the position to actually arrange anything with them then you should definitely stick to a more regular message.