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7 Ways to Throw the Best Retirement Party
Created: September 3, 2019
Modified: July 6, 2023

7 Ways to Throw the Best Retirement Party

At Johnson Brunetti, we spend a lot of time talking about the financial side of retirement. Today, we are going to break up the monotony with a little bit of fun! Retirement is a rite of passage towards the next chapter of our lives. Consequently, it can be bittersweet. Some people are sad to say goodbye to their favorite colleagues. Others are excited to relocate to a warmer climate, or closer to family. Whether you’re getting ready for retirement, or if it’s for someone in your family, company or circle of friends, a retirement party is a special way to celebrate. We have a few suggestions for retirement party ideas to make it memorable, without breaking the bank.

Please keep in mind that these are only suggestions to help you throw a great party! This article is not a paid advertisement and none of the mentioned businesses are affiliated with JB Capital, LLC in any way. We encourage you to exercise all necessary safety and security precautions.

1. Create the Retirement Party Guest List

Happy group of people eating ring cake at a retirement party in a garden

Consider any current colleagues, close family members, and friends. If it’s not a surprise party, it might be a good idea to talk to the honoree, therefore ensuring that all their closest colleagues are invited. This will help remove the guesswork. Keep in mind that this event can be a team effort. Don’t shy away from asking for help from a few different colleagues and friends who may be able to help you divide and conquer.

2. Research Venues

Once the guest list is created, it’s time to select a date and venue that suits your party size. Remember to be considerate when choosing a date. Weeknights can make it difficult for some people to attend. Likewise, try not to host the party during a holiday weekend when people might be traveling to be with family.

Photo by Stony Creek Brewery – Branford, CT

If the office is not an option, there are several creative options for venues besides a restaurant or banquet hall. You can host a backyard barbecue or pool party. You can also spend some time searching for unique and affordable venues in your town or state on websites like this. Bonus points if you’re able to tie the venue into the party’s theme!

3. Choose an Appropriate Theme for the Retirement Party

The most original themes help tell a story of the honoree – covering everything from their past, present, and future. For example, if the guest of honor worked in construction, you may want to incorporate hammers and hardhats. You can also use a favorite sports team or hobby as a theme. On the other hand, if they have a trip to Hawaii on the horizon, go for a luau theme. There are lots of ways to tie it into their personal life and make the details of the party special. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

4. Make the Invitations

Photo by FunFiestaPartyDesign on Etsy

When the guest list, venue, and theme are all set, it’s time to work on invitations! If you’re looking to order something that you can customize yourself, start your research here. If you prefer something a little less do-it-yourself (DIY) that can still match your theme, try looking here. Be sure to address the invitation to your guests and inform them of whether or not they can bring a spouse or significant other. This article should help you communicate the most important event details.

5. Browse Personalized Gifts, Party Favors, and Decorations

If you aren’t opposed to shopping online, Etsy can be a fantastic resource to anyone looking to plan a party. You can find just about anything to fit your theme. Most importantly, many items can be personalized. From hats and funny t-shirts to engraved wooden signs, to these adorable retire-mints, and other creative party favors and accessories. In other words, there’s something for nearly every budget.

Photo by SoSweetPartyShop on Etsy

Please keep in mind, as with any online shopping, it’s important to be your own advocate. On Etsy, it’s really important and helpful to read the descriptions, shipping options and review all the photos. Keep in mind that each seller will have different store ratings, turnaround times, pricing and terms for doing business – make sure they are highly rated and come with positive transaction reviews.

Don’t go it alone if you’re not comfortable! Chances are, you have a friend or family member who has used Etsy before and can help you.

6. Consider Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Options

For those of you who love a good DIY project, Pinterest has great ideas for budget-friendly and inventive retirement party decorations, games and punch recipes. On the other hand, you can save time and energy in the craft store by searching local businesses where you can paint your own pottery, create custom painted wood signs, and more.

7. Make it Sweet

Sweeten the deal with a creative dessert that goes with the theme. If it’s a bigger party, try cake pops or cupcakes. This will remove the hassle of having to cut and distribute dessert.

Be sure to ask someone to say a few words about the honoree before dessert. Maybe even consider collecting photos and videos from friends, family, and colleagues to create a slideshow. You can either use a projector set, or cast the slideshow from a laptop onto a TV screen at your venue.

… And Most of All, Have Fun!

The most important part of the party is enjoying it! Even if you go minimal on the decorations and flair, it’s all about honoring the new retiree and making sure they have a great time.

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