Happy Retirement Party - 5 Ways to Help You Celebrate

Retirement is a major step in a person's life and there's no better way to celebrate all their accomplishments by throwing them a retirement party!

Show your appreciation for the retiree as they embark on a new beginning with these 5 tips for planning a retirement celebration.

1. The Plan


First, you’ll want to ask the guest-of-honor how they envision their retirement celebration. Should this be an in-office party during the workday? Or is there time and a budget to plan a get together outside of office hours at a restaurant or banquet hall?

Guest List

Co-workers and management should be invited to help honor one of their own. You may also ask long-time patients, customers, or students to join in the festivities. Ask the honoree if they’d like for their family members to be invited to help them celebrate this milestone. Don't forget to send out your party invitations in advance!


There are many ideas when it comes to the food, just keep in mind the location the party will be held. Is there room in the budget to hire a caterer? Or is it more practical to buy finger foods or sandwich and fruit trays? What about a fun and easy taco bar? If the party will be held in the office, it’s also acceptable to ask other employees to bring in a dish for a potluck lunch instead.

Candy Buffet

Another fun idea is to offer a candy buffet for “A Sweet Ending to a Long Career.” Display different jars and containers full of the retiree’s favorite candies for everyone to enjoy during the party. You can also use these as party favors—just place small favor bags on the table so guests can grab some candy when the party is over. Try decorating the candy with these fun retirement party favor stickers!

2. The Theme

Career or Hobby

The theme of the party should reflect the individual who is retiring. It can be based on the career they’ve loved for so many years or their favorite hobby.  

Use these retirement party mini candy bar stickers to decorate some sweets for guests to snack on.

Did the guest-of-honor serve in the military? Wrap water bottles in these patriotic water bottle labels for a special way to say thank you. 

Are you celebrating a retiring firefighter? Get the guests fired up with these sweet firefighter party favor stickers

Did the retiree devote their life to serving as a law enforcement officer? Cover the tables with blue tablecloths and police tape! Then, keep the police theme going with these police party favor stickers.

Are they an expert fisherman in their spare time? Make the party special with fishing gear and tackle boxes and these cute gone fishing party favor stickers!

Take a look at these other fun career and hobby party favor stickers for: Construction Workers, Airplane Enthusiasts, Science Teachers, Grade School Teachers, Aloha Parties, Dog Lovers, and Cat Lovers.

Hire Year

What year did the guest-of-honor begin the job that they're now retiring from? Decorate everything in the era that the honoree began the job for a fun and unique retirement party theme! No matter what decade, there are endless ways to incorporate this time in the retiree's life--from the dress code, to the music and decorations.

3. The Fun Stuff

Bucket List Suggestions

Place a bucket at the entrance for this fun activity. Ask guests to write down their suggestions for a Bucket List, or things the retiree should do now that they have some free time on their hands. 

Travel Map

Another fun thing to have at the party is a map on display for guests to pinpoint places the honoree should visit in their newfound leisure time.

Photo Credit: Rachel Talks Travel


Funny Retirement Bingo

This hilarious retirement party bingo game will be the hit of the party! Send the guest-of-honor off to their new life of leisure with a few good laughs.


Memory Jar

Place small cards and a few pens at each table. Then, ask guests to write down their favorite memories of the honoree and have a few volunteers read theirs aloud. This will be a fun activity full of laughs and a chance for the guest-of-honor to think back on some fond memories. Collect all of the cards in a jar at the end of the party for the new retiree to take with them.

4. The Speeches

This will be a day to celebrate the new retiree as they close one chapter of their lives and begin a new exciting journey. Ask ahead of time if any colleagues would like to say a few words at the party. If family members will be in attendance, ask the spouse or children if they’d like to prepare a speech for their loved one. Finally, give the guest-of-honor the opportunity to close out the speeches and a chance to thank everyone for their support.

5. The Gifts

Struggling to think of the perfect gift to bring to the party? The best gift will reflect the guest-of-honor, their interests or hobbies, or something that will be useful in their new life as a retiree.

Caricature Picture

This one is sure to be the hit of the party! A caricature picture is a creative and custom gift that the honoree is sure to love. It's a fun way to capture everyone's favorite fun and quirky traits of the retiree while honoring all they've accomplished from years of hard work.

Gift Basket

A retirement gift basket is a fun way to help the guest-of-honor get started on their new journey. Just fill up a basket with retirement essentials like bubble bath, a good book, fine wine, and anything else you can think of! Number the items and include a funny note that explains how each item should be used.

Check out these retirement gift baskets, like the one below from Spirited Gifts.


Give them the gift of experience! Tickets to a concert, sporting event, museum, cooking class, or other fun activity are all great gift ideas for the retiree.


Add a little more cushion to their nest egg with these creative ways to gift money!

A money umbrella gift has two very good uses: an umbrella for a rainy day and a little cash--also for a rainy day!

Photo Credit: This Little Street


This pretty money wreath also doubles as a nice decoration you can display at the party.

Photo Credit: AdorablyRabid on Etsy


Give the retiree a beautifully wrapped box full of balloons-but wait, there's a twist! Place dollar bills inside each of the balloon as a fun surprise for the guest-of-honor.

Photo Credit: She's Crafty


What is your favorite tip for planning a retirement party? Leave us a comment below or share your retirement celebration photos with us on our Facebook Page or Instagram with #distinctivs!