"This is Your Life"

A nostalgia theme retirement party creates a wide variety of options. Invitations could read: "Down Memory Lane" or "This is Your Life". The party host can direct going back to childhood years or only back a few years. It may also be wise to eliminate any difficult times such as a divorce.

If your having difficulty selecting an appropriate theme, just start planning. Either it will come to you or ask some friends for their suggestions.

Tell the retiree the type of party that you think he would enjoy. Mention the number of guests you plan to invite. 

Get some feedback, then move on to location and venue. Remember, a surprise party is difficult if there is a large guest list.

The guest list should include the usual list of attendees plus:

1. childhood friends and family

2. teachers (if available & memorable)

3. former co-workers or bosses

4. college buddies

5. long-lost relatives

With a nostalgia theme retirement party, it's a good idea to have a "greeter" at the door that will identify guests and lead or direct them to someone they are likely to know. Because of the diverse group of guests, nostalgia theme parties can have some guests feeling a bit lost. A knowledgeable greeter resolves that. No "wall flowers" please.

If you've had a successful theme retirement party, click here to have your success story posted on this website.

Invitations, Decorations & Music

Including a childhood picture on the invitation is a nice touch at a nostalgia theme retirement party. I have included wording suggestions for invitations in this website. RSVP's can be via telephone or email. There are even party sites on the internet that provide internet invitations and responses.

Decorative banners with TV program names from the 50's or 60's can line the walls of the party room. Other suggestions include a banner with "Vintage Jim", a picture of his first car, or typical sayings that the retiree is known to say.

Balloons are a must at every party.

They are colorful and can have words typical of the era - "Let's Do the Twist". Use your imagination. Create your vision for the party. Retirement parties should produce creativity.

Music from the 50's & 60's will please many of the guests, but seem odd to young guests. Keep the volume of the music low enough so that guests can mingle and enjoy each other. Pre-recorded music, a DJ or a small band usually work well. A pianist or harpist during dinner is a pleasant addition.

There are many things to do when planning a retirement party. Probably more when it is a nostalgia theme retirement party. I have provided a checklist for party planning on this website. In general, focus on the larger issues then move on to the small ones.

Speeches, Toasts & Food

An emcee is one of the keys to a successful party. He or she creates the mood and atmosphere. Interjects humor.

Speeches that focus on the work, hobbies and passions of the honoree must have a balance between accomplishments and the funny side.

Retirement is not an end. It is a career change. I have provided some useful speech and toast ideas on the website.

Heart-felt words and tears of joy should abound. We want the honoree to cherish the moment.

Food arrangements can be a casual buffet or a fancy dinner or anywhere in between. Menu choices will be available if the party is catered or at a restaurant. Try to incorporate the party's theme into the cake decorations.

Videos & Photos

A photo collage of the honoree from childhood to recent is always a hit at a nostalgia theme retirement party. Get as many photos as possible and pick the best. Avoid keeping them in chronological order to create interest.

A pre-recorded video of many significant guests toasting the retiree is a meaningful keepsake for both the retiree and his family. Include guests who were unable to attend the event. Add to the video with guests at the party. Assign someone to take lots of photos during the party.

Make a memorable photo album to present to the retiree later.

Retirement Poems


  Wit & Wisdom

Retirement Clock

Gift Ideas

Return to: Home Page - Theme Party Page- Party Checklist - Party Speeches
See Party Checklist for gift ideas.