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Organising a Retirement Party

Organising a Retirement Party
Retirement parties are held in honour of a person retiring and should be a fun event looking back over their working life and looking forward to their future. A retirement party can be organised either by the retirees company or by the family, but either way they should be a joint effort between work colleagues, family and friends. Some companies will have a policy about who gets a formal retirement party, based on length of service or seniority for instance. Whether you are organising the party as a work colleague or a family member, you need to be aware 1. That the retiree may not be looking forward to retirement and so could well be emotional 2. That the retiree may not want a party – maybe they would prefer a trip to an event or entertainment. 3. The retiree should not be regarded as being old – I have read a lot of blogs suggesting they won’t want loud music at their party - would you say that to Mick Jagger? You will also have heard retired people say that they don’t know how they ever had time to work and I have running friends whose race times improved after retirement, so for many people retirement is a new lease of life. Bearing these points in mind you need to think how best a party can honour and appreciate the retiree, taking into consideration their working life, social life and family life within a budget. A retirement party is a one-off occasion and should be very personal to the recipient. Your budget will help determine the venue and how many people you can invite. Many pubs and clubs have free rooms for events and all you have to pay for is the food and drink. Normally the food and a welcome drink would be provided by the host (the people organising the party) with a cash bar thereafter. Guest List The guest list should include: • Work colleagues • Family (you need to decide whether grand-children are included) • Former work colleagues who the retiree was close to • Associates from work, eg suppliers, sales-people etc with whom the retiree worked closely • Friends Once you have agreed a guest list and a venue you need to send out invitations. These need to include the name of the retiree, the date, venue and RSVP details. If you are having a theme this should be stated on the invitation, which should reflect the theme. Read more for ideas and wording for retirement party invitations. The Party A retirement party should include speeches and a toast in honour of the retiree. Make sure these formalities occur in the first half of the event so that everyone can relax. It is also a good idea to reflect the life of the retiree. Have a brief “This is Your Life” where guests give anecdotes about the retirees life or scan in photographs of the retiree at various stages of their career onto a presentation and have these showing on a loop. You could have a quiz about the retiree or decorations that reflect their working and social life. If you have gone for a themed party make sure the food, decor and entertainment fit in with the theme. Retirement presents are often purchased by collection at the workplace, family and friends can add to this or purchase gifts of their own. A retirement party should give the retiree great memories of their working life. A guest book with photos and comments can be a great memento and can be passed round on the evening. Just remember; keep it fun, keep it personal and respect the conflicting emotions of the retiree.