25+ Ways to Say Goodbye to Coworkers When You Retire


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Are you closer and closer to checking off items from your retirement bucket list? Congratulations! 

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You may be expected to say a few words to your fellow staff members as you embark on your retirement. Maybe you’ve been writing your speech in your head for years, or maybe you have no idea of what to say. Regardless of whether you have a few talking points or not, here are some snippets from goodbye speeches that may inspire you to write your own.

Don’t forget to use your own words when you say goodbye to your coworkers. It’s always better to speak from the heart instead of sounding polished and unemotional.

Tip: Pair your goodbye with small tokens of appreciation for everyone in the office. We like sets of succulents to give out. If it doesn't make sense to buy gifts for each person, try putting out a big snack basket, like this one, on the day of your departure.

Funny Ways to Say Goodbye to Coworkers

You may have quite a few inside jokes if you’ve spent years interacting with your coworkers. This is especially true if you deal with the general public or if a colorful bunch of characters works in your office. 

One of the best ways to say goodbye is to refer to funny things that have happened in the office over the years. Here are some general examples. 

“One of the saddest things about retiring before tax season begins is that I will no longer be able to work with dear Mrs. Jones. Someone else will have to break it to her that she can’t claim her 14 cats as dependents.”

“Before I tell you about what I will miss about working in this office, let me tell you the things I will gladly leave behind: TPS reports, audits, the jammed printer, the slow elevator, and bad coffee.”

“Whenever I need a laugh, I’ll just think back about all the practical jokes Jim always played on Dwight. Putting Dwight’s stapler in Jello was such a fantastic practical joke. It almost makes me sad to retire, knowing that I will miss the next laugh.”

“I’m not sure if my wife is looking forward to my retirement or not. She read me this quote the other day: ‘When a man retires, his wife gets twice as much husband for half as much money.’ And she didn’t laugh when she read it to me.”

“Please don’t feel that even though I’m retiring, I’m leaving you in a lurch. I know that questions may come up after I go. Feel free to get a hold of me. Just call all the beaches in Mexico and ask to talk with the lady with the daiquiri in her hand.”

Ways to Say Goodbye to Your Boss When You Retire

Saying farewell to your boss may be difficult, especially if you have had a long professional relationship with the person. Here are some things to say to your boss as you launch your retirement.

“You’ve been the best boss ever. Thank you for all the support you showed me throughout the years. You always encouraged me to learn new skills and grow in the field, whether the business would benefit or not.”

“I remember when you hired me. You asked me how long I planned to stay at this job, and I told you I hoped to retire here. Who would have thought that day would come so quickly? Time flies. Thank you for supporting me for all these years.”

“Even though we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, I always respected you as a leader. You are kind, respectful, and generous. Thank you so much.”

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with you for the last 23 years. I think of you not only as a boss but a friend as well.”

“When you love what you do, work doesn’t feel like work. Thank you for making me happy to show up in this office every day for the last two decades.”

“Thank you for gently correcting me every time I made a mistake and moving on like it never happened. It takes a person with real class to interact with employees this way.”

“I feel like Dorothy when she said goodbye to the scarecrow. ‘I think I’ll miss you most of all.’ Thank you for being a great leader.”

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Heartfelt Ways to Say Goodbye to Coworkers

It’s incredible how quickly you become close to your coworkers, especially if you work in a hospital, school, or another highly emotive environment. Saying goodbye may be painful. Here are some ways to do it.

“You are the sisters and brothers I never had. Thank you all for making Smith and Jones a great place to work.”

“My family doesn’t understand why I’m so sad to retire. They don’t understand how much I will miss you all.”

“Confucius said, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ Who knew I would have so much in common with an ancient Chinese philosopher?”

“Jack Kemp once said, ‘There is a kind of victory in good work, no matter how humble.’ Even though we aren’t working to cure cancer, I am proud of the excellent work we have accomplished together. Our work has improved the lives of others, and I am proud of it.” 

“It’s incredible how a group of people from such diverse backgrounds worked so closely and well together. We complement each other, and that is something special.”

“I’ve never worked with such a special group of people. Thank you for the last 20 years. I love you all, and I will miss you.”

“It’s not often when a group of coworkers can brighten a person’s life. I have treasured our time together.”

Email Messages to Send on Your Last Day

Depending upon your workplace, there may not be an opportunity to give a speech at the end of your last day. You may have to settle for sending out an email message to your boss and coworkers. Here are some snippets of text you may consider using for your special message.

Play some goodbye songs, fire up your laptop, and write your goodbyes. You may surprise yourself and shed a tear or two.

“Please excuse me for not saying goodbye in person. I’m feeling really sad and just can’t! You have made this a lovely place to be every day, and I will miss the office terribly — best wishes to you all.”

“Today is my last day at Blythe and Anders. I’ve been counting down the days to my retirement so I can start traveling the world but I’m also really sad. I will miss seeing all your smiling faces, and I wish I could smuggle you all in my luggage.”

“My life won’t be the same starting on Monday morning. It will be a hard transition. In fact, I’m sure you all will be the first people that I think about  — after I wake up at 10 a.m.”

“You all know how much I love Winnie the Pooh. The creator, A.A. Milne, once said, ‘How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” I am one of the luckiest women in the world.”

“As much as I am sad to leave you, I am excited to be able to spend more time with my grandkids and kids. After a few weeks of me being around, they may ask me to come back to work to volunteer.”

“William James once said, ‘The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.’ I feel that we have done excellent work in this firm, and we have helped others live their best lives. I’m proud of what we have accomplished together, and I want to thank you all for letting me be a part of your team.”

“I’d love to continue being a part of your lives. Let’s get together for a monthly lunch. My personal cell phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

Saying Goodbye

It’s common to feel sad after retirement. Work was probably a big part of your life. You may feel as if something is missing when you quit. Learn how to combat these feelings by reading books on aging 

Take care of a few pieces of business before you become too comfortable with your retirement schedule. First, set up your will and/or trust. Second, start your end-of-life planning. Finally, figure out how you want to serve others so that you can feel like you’re still making a difference during your retirement years.

Post-loss tip: Sometimes goodbyes are even more difficult, as when, when you have to let go of a dying loved one. If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, the emotional and technical aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

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