Writing a Simple Letter of Intent to Retire (Free Sample)

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Writing a retirement letter to colleagues is one way you can show colleagues how much you appreciated and enjoyed working with them for, in some cases, many years.

The aim of the letter is to say a simple and gracious farewell. It may be sad to say goodbye, but a good retirement letter will have an upbeat tone about the future and assure coworkers that you will always stay in touch. 

type of letter

This type of letter is very personal and individual and there is no one-size-fits-all. You may send a personal letter to a superior and one or two coworkers, or one open letter to everyone in their department or team. If the letter is to a team, it is nice if each member is mentioned with a special tribute.

Writing One General Letter Versus Many Personalized Letters

Making the decision about whether to send a general company-wide or department-wide letter or to write personalized letters to each person is a very personal decision.

In general, business etiquette suggests it is appropriate to personally address a letter to one’s direct supervisor and (if time allows) one’s close coworkers or team members.

It is also perfectly appropriate to distribute a more general letter to coworkers who may be affected by a change in personnel due to retirement but who are not in the close work circle. Ultimately, you must make this decision based on your own personal best judgment.

Email Versus Interoffice Snail Mail

In today’s e-centric business culture, it is considered perfectly acceptable to distribute a more general retirement email to co-workers via the company email system.

Alternately, it can be a nice touch to print off and personally sign copies of the letter for closer coworkers, and place those letters in the interoffice mail system for hand delivery. For direct supervisors, a written and signed hand delivered letter is considered ideal if at all possible.

Retiring Under Less Ideal Circumstances

From time to time, and especially in today’s struggling economy, there may be circumstances surrounding retirement that are less than ideal.

However, the retirement letter offers an ideal vehicle to take the high road during departure, leaving with graciousness, gratitude, and generosity towards those remaining at the company.

While burning bridges can feel tempting (sometimes very tempting if the circumstances are particularly difficult!) the best approach is always to cross that bridge with one’s head held high rather than to burn it down (and the truth is, no one knows when paths may surprisingly cross again in the future!).

Sample 1 - Letter Of Intent To Retire

City, State, Zip
Country [if applicable]

Dear [wonderful colleagues, valued coworkers, other greeting],

After [number of] enjoyable years at [company name], I will be retiring on [date]. Before my departure, I want to share my heartfelt thanks to each of you for helping to create the good memories I will take with me into my retired years.

Prior to my retirement, please feel welcome to reach out with any questions or concerns and I will be happy to help with the transition in any way I can.

[Name of replacement] has been training to take over my position and will formally assume my responsibilities on [date]. Here is [his/her] contact phone number [insert number here] and email address [insert email here]. He/she is looking forward to working with each of you in the near future!

Post-retirement, I/we plan to [insert small blurb about an upcoming trip, seeing grandkids, moving, etc.]. As you can imagine, I am/we are looking forward to this very much!

[If desired] It is my hope that our paths may cross again in the future. You can reach me at [insert phone number here] and/or [insert email address here].

With gratitude and appreciation,

[Your signature]
[Your printed name]

Sample 2 - Letter Of Intent To Retire

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]


[Name of Employer]
[Name of Company]
[Address of Company]
[City, State, Zip Code]

RE: Retirement

Dear [Name of Employer]:

This letter is a formal notice of my intent to retire in one month from my position of [Name of Position] in [Name of Company] on [DATE]. I have worked at [Name of Company] for the past [15 years] and appreciate the opportunities for professional development I received from the management.

I enjoyed great job satisfaction over the years and will miss coming in to work every day. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone in my department for the understanding, cooperation and support during the [15 years] I worked here.

I am looking forward to my retirement, and the chance to live in my cabin on the shores of Lake Tahoe. If I can be of any assistance during the next month, I would be happy to help.

I can always be reached at [Phone Number] and [Email Address] if I can be of service after I’ve retired.


[Your Name]

Sample 3 - Letter Of Intent To Retire

Sarah Smith RN
Head Nurse
234 Crayon Drive
Berkeley, CA, 94704

December 14, 2022

Dr. Sandy Shore
Hospital Administrator
Lucky Hospital
123 Healthcare Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94705

RE: To inform of my impending retirement from Lucky Hospital

Dear Sandy:

This letter is to tell you that on January 15, 2023, I intend to retire from my position as Head Nurse at Lucky Hospital. 

I’d want to use this opportunity to express my appreciation for our professional partnership. 

You were always really kind and professional to me, which I greatly appreciate. I worked very hard to make your experience with Lucky Hospital as pleasant as possible.

I’ll introduce you to my replacement, [Name of Replacement], at our next meeting, and tell you that she’ll work hard to guarantee a smooth transition. 

Please contact me at [(555) 940-3466] or [sarah@gmail.com] if you have any questions. If there is anything I can do to help with the transition, please let me know.


Sarah Smith RN
Head Nurse

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