Retirement Card Etiquette

If you are going to be sending or giving a retirement card to someone then it is normal to be a little worried about the right protocol or wording. Whilst there are no definitive rules there are some guidelines which if followed should help you to avoid causing any upset or offence.

They are not the only things to keep in mind when sending a retirement card but should provide enough of a starting point for the type of words to use. The information in this article should give you the best ideas for the correct retirement card etiquette.

If you are looking for more help with what to write in a retirement card try our Retirement Message Writing Tips

How Long Should I Wait Before Sending a Retirement Card?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. You should try to send it as soon as you become aware of their retirement, but you can if you wish also wait a short period if you are worried it may seem rather quick. Even if you get the opportunity to speak to them face to face it’s still probably best to send a card.

When Has too Much Time Passed to Send a Retirement Card?

You will ideally send the card or note as soon as you can, but if you are not aware of their retirement until some time after it has been announced or happened then it is probably best to not send anything. You will need to use your better judgement to decide when it has been too long – years obviously, months possibly, weeks however should still be ok to send or say something.

Can I Send an Email or Text Message as a Retirement Message? Or do it via Twitter/Facebook?

This will depend on how well you know the person retiring. If they are a good friend or family member then it doesn’t take too much time or effort to buy a retirement card, and
If you learnt of their retirement from them on social media then it should be fine to wish them well there too, but you may want to send them a card as well.
If they are not a close friend but more of an acquaintance or work colleague then social media may be fine. Just use your common sense.

Can I Say Anything Religious?

This will again come down to your own judgement. You will be the only one who knows the person retiring and whether not including something religious will be appropriate or not. A religious verse used in a card but being sent to an atheist or someone who doesn’t have any faith would obviously be inappropriate. Also make sure if you do go for a religious message don’t push or force your own beliefs on them.
If you are going to use something religious based in your message then make sure you know the recipients religion! Getting it wrong and using a verse from the Bible when they arent a Christian for instance would be highly embarrassing.
Overall if you have any doubts then just use a more neutral message and avoid anything religious.


Are Flowers Appropriate?

If you decide to send a bunch of flowers to celebrate their retirement then it’s likely they will come with a note. It’s probably best to send your own card though as it will give you more freedom and space to write exactly what you want. The florist you use may allow you to request your own message on their card/note which should work out fine but if you’re in any way not sure then don’t take chance and use your own.

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