Retirement toasts

Retirement toasts should be short and sincere. A brief but sincere statement on just one or two lines will go over better than a long speech or an attempt to be funny.

This is an important occasion for the person you are honoring. As the person giving the toast, you have an opportunity to set a tone of respect for the years of service given the company or organization. If you follow these hints, you will do well.

  1. Be sure you have everyone's attention. It is usual to stand, pick up your glass and tap on a water glass or plate to gain everyone's attention while saying, "May I have your attention please."
  2. When you have everyone's attention, you raise your glass and look at the guest of honor.
  3. Then you say your toast, raise your glass up an inch or two and take a sip....all while looking at the guest of honor.

As the person chosen to give the Retirement toast, you have a very special task. You are giving 'official recognition' to a person who has put years of energy into a job, a person who has given daily labor to the company or organization. You are paying tribute to that work and the one who did it.

This is NOT the time to act the clown or aim for a laugh. This is a time to honor the person who is leaving a job that has taken up much of his or her life energies.

When thinking about what to say in your toast, ask yourself what is it you can honor about this co-worker?

Will the person be missed? If so, why not raise your glass and say, "Bill, you will be missed."

Has the person made significant contributions to the company? If so, honor that. "Patricia, you have been a great asset to this company. We want to wish you well"

Has the person been unremarkable but faithful worker who has showed up for years? Make that the focus of yourtoast. "Andy, you have been faithful to this organization. May your find much meaning and happiness in this next phaseof your life."

Maybe the person has not been a happy worker. He or she has chaffed at the bit for years. Do not gloss over thosedifficulties. make them part of your honorific words. "Ann, retirement offers the time and opportunity to explorenew directions. May you find a special retirement niche where you will feel happy and renewed each day."

Here are some Retirement toasts that may offer you a way of composing your own.

  • Be sure to use the person's name in the toast. Use the name or nickname they preferred. Of course if the person was well above you in the hierarchy, then you do need to be more formal in addressing them. Mr. Andrews or Mrs, King will do fine when toasting someone who was your boss.
  • Second, you want to offer a good wish that 'plugs into' some characteristic of the person's work life. Remember that your toast is honoring years of showing up and using energy doing a job in the organization. It is giving recognition to the effort, the time, the showing up for work.
  • Know that it is your honor to give honor to the retiree. And remember that when it is your time to leave thecompany, you will want someone to give a short but honorific toast to you.

If you need more inspiration as you try to figure out what you might say, you may find it helpful to read Retirement Toasts - Quotations