How Much Notice to Give When Retiring

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When you decide to retire you want your limited remaining time to go smoothly at your workplace. To allow for a smooth transition, follow these five steps when announcing your retirement.

The Five Steps to Make a Retirement Announcement

  1. Provide Management with a Timetable

Timing is probably the most important aspect of your retirement, and this extends to the announcement process as well. Giving a proper timetable gives your company time to adjust. This helps ensure that your departure does not interfere with operations too much. 

Different levels of employees should give their announcement at different times. Lower level employees can announce their retirement six to ten weeks out. However, high level employees may need to give three to six months notice. In some cases even this could be considered short notice.

The more of a notice you give the better your company can prepare. Keep in mind any hiring procedures or contract lengths as well. 

  1. Share the News in Person to Close Staff

When you make your decision, tell your closest senior member first. Word will probably travel quickly around the office. Try to beat the news and tell as many co-workers as you can in person. This helps close out any final tasks they may need you to complete. It also helps give you opportunities to say goodbye.

Never make your primary announcement through any other medium than in person. This allows you to make the news clear and free from any misinterpretation. Senior level personnel should try to share the news with all of their team members at once. This helps them absorb the information and handle it better.

  1. Send Notes to Outside Colleagues

Once you tell your close co-workers and staff, reach out to colleagues and business connections through personal notes. Share with them when you plan to retire and whom you expect to replace you. Try to give them all pertinent information they may need in your absence. This may save you from a few interruptive phone calls once you retire.

Crafting each note personally will help bring a sense of finality to your work so that you may retire in peace. Try to send the messages out within a few weeks of your announcement. The sooner you send them the better. 

  1. Share on Social Media

After sharing with your associates and dealing with the most pressing matters first, make a more public announcement. You can make a post on social media or on your website. This gives a general heads up to other personal and professional colleagues. Sharing it in this form last keeps you from getting overwhelmed with all your closing responsibilities simultaneously. 

Sending all connections a personal message is superfluous, and sharing it online reaches a huge audience all at once. GIve as many details as you feel necessary. However, leaving it too vague may lead to a plethora of inquiries. So giving a reason in your announcement may save you from having to repeat it too often.

  1. Get Ready for the Whirlwind of Emotions

It can be hard to finally step away from anything you have spent so much time pursuing. So once you decide to retire, start bracing yourself. You will likely deal with lots of last minute projects and closing to complete your work. This could make you stressed and require extra attention.

Additionally, it will sadden many close co-workers to see you go. No matter how long your career, you will probably make at least one close connection wherever you work. Reminisce with your friends and keep an eye on the future. You made the decision for a reason so keep your head as straight as you can.

The Difference Between Retiring and Resigning

Usually when someone retires they step away from that field and position for good. You can always come back out of retirement so long as you are up to it. But retirees usually pack it in for good. Resignation, on the other hand, means that you will likely continue working, just not with that organization.

Employees should give their resignation at least two weeks in advance, while longer time periods help with the adjustment. Giving your employer adequate notice may help with your transition to a new company. 

Do you Have to Give a Retirement Notice?

When you give proper retirement notice you allow your employer to prepare all the proper retirement documents. These could include health insurance information and financial plans such as pensions. Failing to give notice may delay or cancel these benefits.

You want to retire in peace, so give a few months notice to process all the paperwork.

Can you Be Fired for Announcing your Retirement?

Since most of the United States’ workforce is employed at will, you can technically get fired at any point. While most employers will not terminate employment at such an announcement, they may ask you to leave that day.

While very rare, gauge the waters to see if such a reaction may occur. Give yourself a cushion to retire on by announcing your decision when financially stable.


Give ample retirement notice to leave on a good night and allow yourself time to finish everyone out. Take some time and reflect on your career so that you can begin your retirement in a state of pure peace and freedom.

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