TouchNote logo
What to write

What to write in a retirement card

Retirement is a huge milestone in life. It’s one many of us look forward to and a milestone that often comes with mixed feelings. It can be tricky to think of what to say in a retirement card. A safe bet with acquaintances might be a polite but warm word wishing them a happy retirement, or thanking them for being a great colleague or employee. However, if it’s someone we know well then we can send something more personal. 

A personal message in a retirement card can congratulate our loved ones on a successful career and remind them of the rest, relaxation, and the adventures they are going to enjoy in the near future. You may also wish to surprise them with our letterbox gifts – a safe option when you don’t know whether they’ll be home to receive them.

Who are you sending it to?

Someone you know has gone through decades of career hurdles, successes and failures to get where they are now. To people who don’t know them it may look like a smooth ride but you know better. Only you’ll know how they feel about retirement.

Perhaps they have good memories to look back on, and you know they’ll keep retelling the stories over and over at every family gathering. They may be proud of what they did for their company, family, or community. They may have saved lives or improved the local area – they may have also led a less conventional life, fulfilling their dreams and experiencing many of the riches the world has to offer. 

Many worry that they’ll be forgotten in retirement, so honoring their life is a brilliant way to remind them of how much they have accomplished, and how much is ahead. Another possibility is that after a long and hard career, they’ll be focused on the present and pleased to be able to finally catch up with their reading, gardening and other hobbies.


We know there isn’t too much difference between the roles of mothers and fathers – both can be breadwinners. Generic retirement card messages aimed at retiring fathers sometimes suggests that retirement is going to be filled with years of playing golf or driving their cars. Your father may like that – but he may be equally excited about taking up gardening or learning to cook. If that’s him, why not send him a more personalized card featuring a recipe you made recently and loved? 

Another old-fashioned suggestion would be to include a “dad joke.” This isn’t for everyone – jokes are often good at softening the feelings that come with big milestones. Your parents may be considering their own value and even mortality as they enter this new era. You’ll know best if a joke would work for him, or if he’d prefer something more serious. 

Personal messages in retirement cards are the time to remind your father he is valuable by reminding him of his achievements, and letting him know you are looking forward to seeing more of him. Pair it with this Montezuma Dad-a-licious Nutterscotch Choc for an uplifting treat. 


Retirement is often bittersweet. After a long career, your mother finally has the rest she deserves but she may struggle to switch off and worry about what lies ahead. 

Overthinking retirement card messages may seem trivial. We often look back at the things people said to us and remember how those words spurred us towards new, exciting things. 

Perhaps she’s always harbored a desire of traveling to South America, learning to paint, or writing a novel. Pulitzer prize-winner Frank McCourt didn’t write his debut until his early 60s, while Game of Thrones author George RR Martin is still penning novels at 73. 

Brief words of encouragement can sow seeds that your mother can nurture. Send your personalized retirement card alongside some of our beautiful bouquets of letterbox flowers (UK only), or a Sapphire Blue Classic Hard Cover Ruled Notebook to help her plan what comes next. 

For more suggestions read our article Meaningful Gifts Moms Love and Why.


First, is this a school friend, colleague, or neighbor? Sometimes after years apart, we can catch up with an old friend and it’s the same as it always has been. However, do you know them well enough to know what they hope for the future? 

The closeness of your relationship will determine the tone of your message. If you grew up with this friend, chances are you’ll have many decades of memories to recount. Though in a retirement card message you’ll have to keep it short and sweet. Let them know which adventures you remember fondly, and which adventures you still intend to go on with them. 

You may wish to include some humor with a message along the lines of ‘Congratulations – you got your life back!” coupled with Popcorn & Kisses Gourmet Popcorn Letterbox, a hint they should kick back on the sofa and enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Or play it safe with letterbox flowers to make their home look and smell spring-like–yellow roses are a good choice, signaling new beginnings (UK only). 

Make it personal

Whoever your card is intended for, make it personal. Think about what they are most proud of – whether they set up a business, served in the military, or saved lives in a hospital. But life doesn’t stop with retirement – remind them they have a future, too. Some retirees will know this well, and will already be excited about what comes next, planning evening classes or holidays. 

It is said a picture says a thousand words. Sending a photo postcard can remind them of their big career milestones and successes. Personalized retirement cards are an opportunity to celebrate the retiree’s past, present and future, and remind them they are remembered, appreciated and loved. 

Send a gift with TouchNote and remind friends and family they are important. A personalized retirement card and heartfelt gift go a long way in celebrating this milestone and easing them into the next era of their life. 

TouchNote / June 2022
TouchNote FacebookTouchNote InstagramTouchNote Twitter

Recent posts

Start sending now