Gifts * Memory Book * Photos * Last Minute

Final Retirement Party Checklist items include gifts, a memory book, photos and last minute items. A memorable retirement party is the goal.


The range of gifts at any party is endless. Retirement parties are no different. One treasured gift is better than a box of trivia.

I'm not sure that the "retirement clock" would be treasured, but it is clever.

Contributions for one gift can be requested.

A set of golf clubs, for example. Or a unique antique for a "lover of antiques". Contributions toward a "Dream Vacation" is another.

Consider a retirement book or a donation to the honoree's favorite charity. A plague with the party invitation would be memorable.

Gag gifts may have run their course. But, you can mention it on the invitation if you encourage them. Be careful of gag gifts if children will attend.

Memory Book

This is the highlight of the Final Retirement Party Checklist. It can take several forms. One is a "This is Your Life" collection of photos of the honoree from infancy to the present.

Another is to provide a scrapbook in which guests can answer one of the several questions. Such as:

  • "What I remember most about..."
  • "I remember when we..."
  • "(honoree's name) did the following that changed my life."
  • "This is the funniest thing I remember about..."

Guests close to the retiree could be asked to bring a picture of themselves to place next to their entry. Ask a responsible person to circulate among the guests requesting that each makes an entry in the book.

A memory book can be very simple. Guests can write a sentiment or heartfelt wishes. Similar to what we all did in high school yearbooks. This should be the most important item on this Final Retirement Party Checklist.


It is important for the honoree to mingle among the guests. Documentation of the guests similarly mingling is worthwhile for the him to see.

So much is going on in a short time. The guest of honor will miss most of it. Document it with a photo. These photos can be priceless.

Cameras are easy to use. Ask a couple of guests to take lots of photos. After the party the photos can be sent to the host.

Photo selection with the retiree can be arranged. A printed or electronic scrapbook can be made.

Hire a professional photographer or videographer to document the event. Get great photos or video of the program, speeches and games.

Have the videographer record comments and well wishes from the guests. 

This video diary will provide replay enjoyment for the honoree.

Day of the Party

The last item on the Final Retirement Party Checklist is last minute things to do. Here is my final list within a list:

  • Pick up cake.
  • Decorate party room.
  • Confer with emcee.
  • Provide final head count to caterer.
  • Miscellaneous

Good preparation includes having backup plans. A pool party, for example, will not work on a rainy day.

After the Party

Be thankful that your preparation paid off. In real estate they say: location, location, location. In party planning we say: Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.

Retirement Poems


  Wit & Wisdom

Retirement Clock

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