Planning a Retirement Party on a Budget

Planning a Retirement Party on a Budget
Written by Her View From Home

If someone you love is going to retire soon, make sure their lifetime of hard work is celebrated with the picture perfect retirement shindig to celebrate their permanent vacation. Whether you’re a family member or a caring colleague, planning a retirement party on a budget is a cinch when you follow these guidelines.

To Surprise or Not?

You may be wrestling with the idea of surprising the retiree or letting them know about the party in advance and there are pros and cons to each option. A surprise will require a great deal of attention to detail, and will also entail consulting with the retiree’s family to determine time, place, and taste questions. You’ll also need to practice your secret agent skills, keeping the details hidden and handling communication between party guests with the utmost secrecy.


Use discounted flowers to spruce up any place in no time. Try these FTD coupons to find some awesome florals that will spiff up any venue—even if you’re still stuck at the office. You can also hang up photos of the retiree with clothespins, along with any documents of their best moments, or references to funny jokes you may have had within your ranks.

Time to Eat

When it comes to purchasing food for a party, the bill can easily skyrocket if you’re not careful. One way to circumvent this cost is to do your retirement party buffet style, and ask attendees to bring potluck dishes to share. This will help you keep the budget in check and still provide delicious fare for everyone who attends.

Present Ideas

If you’re struggling to come up with appropriate gift ideas for the guy or gal of honor, consider these heartfelt options that combine humor and practicality.

Memory Book

If the retiree has been with the company for a long time, they’ve no doubt made many connections and formed relationships with many of the workers there in that time. Attempt to get a roster of all the names of those who worked there in the past and email them. In the emails, ask for them to write out some of their favorite memories of the person in question. Compile these memories in envelopes and give your retiree the stack at the party. They can read them aloud or keep them for private perusal; either way, it’s sure to be a gift they love.

Retirement Basket

If you’re looking for a group gift, a retirement basket can be a wonderful way to aggregate some of the retiree’s favorite items. If it’s for a guy who loves to golf, throw in a gift certificate to the fairway, along with some of his favorite libations (think scotch, bourbon, etc.), and some Sudoku books to help him fill those work free hours.

Hobby Gift Certificate

He or she will have lots of free time after retiring for good, so make sure they stay busy with a gift certificate to a new hobby you think they will enjoy. Maybe it’s a membership to a yoga class for a month, or perhaps you’ll give them the chance to explore their passion for painting with a six-week instruction. Consider their interests and make a thoughtful decision—it’ll definitely be a present to remember and a useful thing once they’re not working that nine to five grind.

A Subscription

This is another group gift idea, but it’s definitely a worthy one to consider. Assure your retiree that they won’t be forgotten with a subscription that keeps on giving months after they’ve left your ranks. Whether it be monthly wine deliveries from Club W to fill their wine rack or meal prep boxes from Blue Apron, your gift will bring a smile to their face with every doorbell ring.

Entertainment Options

Don’t forget to plan some entertainment for the party—mingling is fun, but a bit of planning will make the retiree feel as special as they should. I’m not talking professional entertainers here, but a little foresight can mean everyone who attends has an amazing time. Consider borrowing a karaoke machine so everyone can embarrass themselves (I mean show off their skills) in a fun night of musical serenades. You can also put together a simple slideshow that shows pictures from the guest of honor’s time in office, and good times from the past.

Make sure your family member or friend knows how much they were appreciated, and help welcome them into retirement in a fun way with these tips.

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