Budget * Location * Who to Invite

First Retirement Party Checklist includes the items that must be determined first. They include: consulting with the retiree, budget, people to help, invitations and party location. The party must satisfy the wishes of the person retiring.

Many retirees are modest about their careers. They may recommend a low-key modest party or no party. Remind them that this is a-once-in-a-lifetime event. Remind them that many people would like the opportunity to attend and wish them well. Seldom does a retiree suggest a large, lavish party.

Know the retiree's wishes. It is their party! Make it special for her and the guests.


Budgets create limitations. First Retirement Party Checklist items are all a function of the budget. Budgets influence nearly every item on the list. Budgets determine the number of guests, the food, decorations. Everything!

A small party after work paid for by co-workers may be the routine. The depth of the co-workers pockets will be tested in this scenario.

The retirement party of an executive in a large company might have an unlimited budget and hundreds of guests. At times, several smaller parties for different groups may be scheduled.

For example, a party for clients or an executive only party are possibilities.

People Will Help

Planning a retirement party does not have to be stressful. Help is available. Form a committee. Make it an adventure.

Others will have ideas that you haven't considered. They have different life experiences and have attended other retirement parties. Ideas will flow during discussions.

Ask committee members to volunteer for an item or two on this list. Let it be their selection. 

They will be at ease if they choose the topic or item. And they are likely to do a good job with it - because it is their choice.

Who Should Be Invited?

There are people that must be invited to a retirement party. They are the people that the retiree would like to share the experience with the most. Usually this includes a spouse or "significant other" and co-workers.

Next would be the retiree's children and boss. After these the list of attendees depends on the size of the party, the location and, of course, the budget.

Every retiree has someone who he has not seen in many years. Someone who he was once very close to. Find that person. Invite him or her. If they cannot make it get a video of him congratulating his old buddy. At least get a letter that can be read at the party.

I call them "Mystery Guests". More than one mystery guest is OK!

Here is another list:

  1. old friends (neighbors, acquaintances)
  2. relatives (near and distant)
  3. former co-workers (even at other employment)
  4. college buddies
  5. grade school and high school friends

When and Where?

First Retirement Party Checklist items 1 thru 5 are inter-related and, therefore, depend on each other. The location is determined by the size of the party.

A huge party may require securing a permit to have the party at a city park or it can be held in a ballroom. A small party may be in the lunch room at work.

Weekend parties are usually larger and last longer. Weekday parties are lunches or after work and are smaller.

Most retirement parties are in party rooms of restaurants or hotels. Check to be sure the room is available to decorate before the party. Food and beverage choices will be provided. The locations are usually easy to find. This is important for out-of-town guests.

The purpose of this Site and the First Retirement Party Checklist items are to give you ideas. Refine those ideas. Select the ideas that fit your honoree.

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