Writing a Proper Retirement Letter for Your Employer

A retirement letter is the proper way to leave your job. It not only lets the company know your intentions, it highlights your professionalism right up to the end.

Here are a few steps for writing the retirement letter that will help make the transition easier for both you and the company.

When to Get the Word Out

Once you have made the decision, give yourself a few days to be sure before sitting down with your immediate supervisor. Let them know verbally that you’re going to be leaving. If there are any clients, customers, or colleagues that you would rather hear the news from you as opposed to the grapevine, now is the time to tell them.

Writing the Retirement Letter

The letter should be written within a couple of days of the announcement to your supervisor. As retirement letters can be emotional, you are not necessarily bound by the rules of business writing, though you shouldn’t necessarily dispense with them altogether. Open with the letter’s intent: “In the book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, it says, ‘It is better to retire too early instead of too late.’ That thought has been in the back of my mind for years now. And with my third grandchild on the way, I have come to believe there is no better time to start the next phase of my life than right now. This is why I am giving [COMPANY] two months notice of my intention to resign as Creative Director.”

Forbes advises you base how long the notice will be on what you believe will make the transition smoother. Their experts say non-executives should offer no less than six weeks and executives between two and three months.

The second paragraph of the retirement letter can be about your successes and projects with the company, or about plans to spend your days with your grandchildren or fishing in Sag Harbor. You do want to close out with an appreciation of your time with the company, wishing clients and colleagues good fortune, and mentioning specifically how many years you’ve been there. (It’s been 25 wonderful, productive years.) It’s also not surprising when a retiree feels an itch to get back into the workplace, even if only part time. That’s when you want to check out Resume Builder, LiveCareer’s tool for creating the best resumes.

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