By Ernie J. Zelinski
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 Retirement Letters at The Retirement Cafe

Including Sample Retirement

Letters and a Retirement Letter Template

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 How to Write a Retirement Letter

Perhaps like many soon-to-be retired individuals, you are ready to submit a retirement letter to proudly announce 'I Am Outta Here" to live life the way it was meant to be lived and live your wants as to where to retire.

Retirement letters are not all that hard to write. If you want to formal, a retirement letter should start with the particulars of the applicant followed by those of the employer/head of the department.

Incidentally, retirement letters or sample retirement letters are sometimes referred to as "goodbye letters for work."

Other terms used for "retirement letters" on search engines such as Google include:

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The main body of your letter of intent to retire can be divided into short paragraphs with each paragraph focusing on specific information relating to work and your retirement planning.

For instance, the first paragraph can inform your organization that you intend to retire. You can also provide the effective date of your intent to retire, the years of career service that you have put in, and whether you want to continue to contribute to your company's medical, dental, and life insurance programs (if applicable to your organization).

In another paragraph of your retirement letter, you can thank your organization for the cooperation and the opportunities provided by the company and fellow workers during your years of your work in the company/organization.

The last paragraph can offer your assistance to the organization during the period of transition and the details of the company's property returned by you. You can provide a forwarding address and an e-mail address so the organization can contact you after you leave the organization. 


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Some More Tips for How to

Write a Retirement Letter

1. Include the following items in your letter of intent to retire:

  • Your name
  • Date of the retirement letter
  • Corporate Employee ID Number
  • Years of service
  • Official date of retirement
  • Whether to continue medical, dental and other retirement benefit contributions
  • Whether you want to be of some small assistance after you retire

2. The letter of retirement should be clearly written with no opportunity for misunderstanding by the employer.

3. The retirement letter should be written in a graceful and cordial tone.

4. Leave a forwarding address in your retirement letter. 


Here are some simple sample retirement letters that you can use as retirement templates to create your own letter of intent to retire. 

Sample Retirement Letter #1


Dear Mr. /Ms. Last Name:

After having just read The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked  by Ernie J. Zelinski a few years ago, I considered retiring, but I put it off for a while.

Retirement Books - The Joy of Not Working Image

So considering this retirement advice and after taking all of Zelinski's wisdom to heart, this letter of intent to retire is to inform you that I intend to leave my position of marketing manager effective January 1, 2015.

After serving the company for over thirty years, I wish to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude for your fine leadership, support, and cooperation all this time. I would also like to express my appreciation to all the other staff including my colleagues for their support and friendship throughout my stay here.

I would like to continue contributing to the benefits plan and insurance coverage in my retirement.

Note that I am providing my forwarding address as well as my e-mail address on the attached page for your records for any future correspondence with me.


[Your name and signature]


Sample Retirement Letter #2 

The followiing letter of intent to retire can be used by employees who intend to retire at the end of their careers and want to formally inform their employer.

Of course, depending on employer and the employee, every individual retiree will have a unique situation, circumstances, and terms and conditions of service. Thus, the same retirement letter cannot be perfect for employee. The letter of retirement can be customized easily according to needs of the individual employee.

You can copy and paste this sample retirement letter into Microsoft Word or Work Perfect and then modify the names and dates as they pertain to you.


Dear Manager:

After I read the Quintessential Careers Review of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, I purchased this wonderful retirement book by Ernie J. Zelinski.

Retirement Book - Excerpts Image

This was the retirement book that ultimately helped me make a big decision in my life.

Ernie Zelinski tackles retirement with the glee of someone in the desert who finds a bottle of chilled water.

There are several keys to a happy retirement, he says, including:

  • You are never too young to retire.
  • Retiring too late means you don’t get another chance to do it right.
  • Your wealth is where your friends are.
  • Be happy while you are alive because you are a long time dead.
  • It’s better to live rich than to die rich.
  • Retirement health is one of the best retirement gifts that you can give yourself. 
  • Helping others can make life more worthwhile and you happier than you have ever been.
  • Forget how old you are — this becomes more important the older you get.
  • Don’t leave this world with songs unsung that you would like to sing.
  • Retirement is the beginning of life — not the end.

After reading the book, I realized that my retirement time is now.

Please accept this as my letter of intent to retire effective October 30, 2015 after serving Zen Air Inc. for 30 years and 5 months.

I wish to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to everyone at ZenAir for the cooperation, understanding, and support during my employment here. I would also like to express my appreciation to the management and my other colleagues for their support and friendship throughout my stay here.

Please forward to me all the necessary documentation and information pertinent to the retirement process and information on the complete benefit plan for retiring employees.

Many thanks to all of you again. It has been a privilege to work with you and a memory I will always cherish.

My very best wishes to everyone.


Ben Airdrie



If  you are about to submit your retirement letter, no doubt you would like to know . . .

  • The Secrets to an Effortless, Happy Retirement

  • The Secrets to Having Everything You Want in Retirement

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Then give yourself the most important retirement gift that anyone can receive:

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Retirement Quotes to Use in Your Retirement Letters

Quotations about retirement can add humor and body to retirement letters.

Here are some of my favorite retirement quotations that you may want to use.

#1 of Four Retirement Quotations to Use in Letters for Retirement

By the age of 65, most of us have accomplished whatever work-related goals we are going to reach. If you haven't done it by then, chances are you aren't going to do it. Take the retirement, take the pension, take the Social Security, and sail off into the sunset.
— Sue Lasky

#2 of Four Retirement Quotes to Use in Sample Retirement Letters

I retired early for health reasons — my company was sick of me and I was sick of them.
— Unknown wise person

#3 of Four Retirement Quotes to Use in Goodbye Letters for Work 

Retirement is wonderful if you have two essentials  much to live on and much to live for. I believe that I now have both.
— Author Unknown

#4 of Four Retirement Quotations to Use in a Job Farewell Letter

The money’s no better in retirement but the hours are!
— Unknown wise person

Here are some quotes about letters that may help you write your retirement letter:

It does me good to write a letter which is not a response to a demand, a gratuitous letter, so to speak, which has accumulated in me like the waters of a reservoir.
— Henry Miller

A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.
— Jane Austen

Letters are above all useful as a means of expressing the ideal self; and no other method of communication is quite so good for this purpose. . . . In letters we can reform without practice, beg without humiliation, snip and shape embarrassing experiences to the measure of our own desires. . . .
— Elizabeth Hardwick

Or don't you like to write letters. I do because it's such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something.
— Ernest Hemingway

Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls.
For, thus friends absent speak.
— John Donne



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