29 Clever And Heartfelt Ways To Say Goodbye To Your Co-Workers When You Retire

It’s always hard to leave longtime co-workers.

But when you retire, saying goodbye to your colleagues seems like a daunting task.

You’re going to miss these people who’ve been part of your life every day.

Retirement is a significant life stage when you suddenly transition from a structured workday with many people around you to having lots of free time without the camaraderie of your co-workers and clients. 

Many people nearing retirement may think they have their goodbye words figured out – until the big day comes.

You suddenly don’t know what to say to co-workers when you retire, which reflects the enormity of the moment. Give your colleagues a meaningful goodbye message as you complete your career.

That’s why we’ve compiled 29 witty and gracious retirement farewell messages to co-workers.

Saying Goodbye to Co-Workers When You Retire: 29 Clever and Heartfelt Messages

There are so many ways to say goodbye to co-workers when you retire, depending on your relationship with the people in question, the feelings you want to convey, and the medium you’re using. 

You’ll naturally want to go over different messages until you find those that fit your goals.

These retirement message samples, including some emotional retirement letters, give you plenty of ideas to lead you in the right direction.

Funny Retirement Message to Say to Co-Workers

Many people tend to have inside jokes at the workplace if you work with the general public or with certain co-workers. There’s almost always a workplace clown, too. 

Either way, a joke is a great way to say farewell to co-workers that is lighthearted, joyful, and sure to make your exit a memorable one.

saying goodbye to co-workers when you retire

1. “I’m sad to have to leave you, but I’m not sad about leaving behind the jammed printer. Now, you can teach someone else how to unjam it. But if you can’t find someone, you can always call me and listen to me laugh hysterically.”

2. “I’m leaving my personal email address with you all so you can send me messages. Just write in the subject line, ‘To the most amazing person we’ve ever worked with.’”

3. “I’m going to miss being with you all. But does anyone know the name of a good therapist? My wife’s going to need one with me being around the house all the time.”

4. “According to a quote on retirement, my wife will get twice the husband for half as much money. As long as the second husband will help with the dishes, she says she won’t miss the money.”

5. “You helped me save my desk plants when they were dying. Now I’m afraid one of you will need to drop by the house every other day to take care of them. Maybe bring lunch, too.”

6. “After some time, I’ve decided that I need to accept this forced separation called retirement. Therefore, I plan to only visit three times a week to ensure things are running smoothly without me. 

7. “It’s a shame I have to leave before the next Zoom meeting. I wanted to see Sarah’s cat pawing through the litter box again and Frank’s son making crazy faces behind his back.”

8. “My emotions right now are a mixture of sadness at leaving you all and excitement at spending more time with my children and grandchildren. After I’ve been around them for a few weeks, they’ll probably ask me to come back to work on a volunteer basis.”

Emotional Ways to Say Goodbye to Co-Workers

Emotional retirement letters don’t have to be super long to be heartfelt. With the right words, short and sweet can express your feelings succinctly while being just as genuine.

These retirement message samples will help you craft what to say to co-workers when you retire. 

9. “It’s true that we work to live. Like Confucius said, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ That’s never been more true than for me because I’ve loved this job so much. I come to work every day with enthusiasm and joy – not just because I love the work we do here, but mainly because I love all of you. It’s been the best experience I could have asked for.”

10. “We’re not working to save lives, but our work has meant so much to me nonetheless. It’s like Jack Kemp said once,‘There is a kind of victory in good work, no matter how humble.’ This position and all of you have made me feel that what I do is worthwhile.”

11. “I find myself sad to be retiring and leaving this stellar team of people. My family doesn’t understand how attached I’ve become to this company. But you are like family to me too, and I’ll sincerely miss every one of you.”

12. “It’s amazing how we’ve managed to come together from different backgrounds to build this fantastic organization. Teamwork really does make the dream work. It’s my sincere hope that I can watch from the sidelines as you continue to do great things in the years to come.”

13. “You’re all so special, and each of you has been an upward call for me to do my best work because I never want to let you down. Thank you for your inspiration, enthusiasm, and commitment to what we do. I love all of you and will miss you more than I can express.”

saying goodbye to co-workers when you retire

14. “Since retirement has come, I’ve realized how much you have brightened my life. It’s been a real treasure working with you.”

Retirement Thank You Sayings to Co-Workers

There’s no one way to say thank you to co-workers. For every co-worker you want to honor and appreciate, there’s a special message of thanks you can write. These “farewells to co-workers” give you an idea of how to express your gratitude.

15. “These several years working with you have been more than wonderful. I am grateful to have co-workers that are so supportive and talented. Thank you.”

16. “You’ve been the best work partner I could have imagined. Your reliability and professionalism in everything you do have inspired me to be better, and I truly appreciate that.”

17. “I remember my first day of work with this company. You introduced me to everyone, showed me around, and made me feel at ease. You’ve become like family, and this company is my home away from home. Thank you for being such a fantastic friend and colleague.

18. “I haven’t said thank you enough, but before I go, I want you to know how much I appreciate all that you’ve done for our team and me. I will always remember your willingness to go the extra mile and help your co-workers any time they needed it.”

19. “You’re a person I’ve always been proud to call ‘boss.’ Not only did you support me throughout the years, but you’ve encouraged me to improve myself and grow in the field. I’ve learned so much from you, and I’ll always be grateful for that.”

20. “When you first hired me, you asked me how long I planned to stay at this job. I answered that I hoped to retire here, and here I am, about to retire. Time flew by working here because it’s such an awesome place with a fantastic team. Thank you for making my time here such a success.”

21. “We haven’t agreed on everything, but I’ve always respected you as a co-worker. You have been generous, respectful, and kind in all of our time together. I appreciate how you’ve treated me more than I can say.”

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22. “Working with you for the last 20 years has been a privilege and an honor. I think of you not only as a co-worker but also as a friend. That’s a special position to hold. I know we’ll keep in touch because I’m going to make sure of it!”

23. “I’ve been happy to come to this office every day for the past two decades. I’ve loved my time working here so much because of you. As the saying goes, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ and that perfectly describes my sentiments. I’m so thrilled I’ve gotten to know you.”

24. “Even when I made mistakes, you were patient in correcting me and showing me how to be better. You are tactful and diplomatic in how you interact with all your employees, myself included – and that’s a rare skill.”

Retirement Goodbye Email to Co-Workers on Last Working Day

Traditionally, an emotional retirement letter was either handwritten or typed on paper. Today, we generally write goodbye emails instead.

They’re preferable when you want to reach out to a large group of people, but they don’t have to be formal or stiff.

These retirement email samples are just a few ways to say thank you and goodbye to co-workers through email.

saying goodbye to co-workers when you retire

25. “I can’t believe this is my last day here and that I won’t see your smiling faces every morning. Before I walk out the door, I wanted to let all of you know how much I’ve loved working with you and that I’ll miss you more than I can express. Wishing each of you the very best.”

26. “Accept my apologies for not saying goodbye in person. It’s too hard as I’m feeling so sad at the thought of this being my last day. Just know that you’ve brightened my life and made me look forward to coming to the office every day. “

27. “Today is my last day at the company. While I’ve been counting down the days to my retirement, I’ve also been dreading saying goodbye. I will miss all of you and hope you’ll think of me while I’m traveling the world.”

28. “Starting on Monday morning, my life will never be the same. I won’t have the joy of waking up at 5:30 am with the alarm blaring. I won’t get to savor the burnt Maxwell House coffee in the breakroom. But most importantly, I won’t get to see each of you every day, and that’s what really makes me sad. Please don’t be strangers.”

29. “You don’t know how lucky I am to have had you all as my co-workers. You all feel like family, and it’s hard to describe my feelings as I’m about to walk out the door for the last time. You mean the world to me, and I’m so grateful I had these 25 amazing years working here.”

It’s not easy finding the right words to express the complicated feelings that come with retirement.

After all, the end of your working years marks a pivotal milestone in your life. 

You want the people you’ve worked with to know that you remember the best parts of your career and work with them. And you want these final words to mean something to them.

Hopefully, these examples have inspired you and triggered some ideas for how you want to say goodbye to your work colleagues.

Leaving a place where you spent years, and people you've spent time with is hard. When you retire, choose any of these messages you can tell your co-workers.

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