Photo by Al Elmes from Unsplash

Retirement is a big deal. Every year it becomes harder and harder to retire for many reasons including a shrinking social security program, less generous retirement benefits from employers, and overall inflation. So when someone important in your life is nearing retirement, it’s important to recognize this huge accomplishment. One thing you may be thinking about is how to throw a retirement party. In reality, the best retirement party ideas are those that fit well with the individual. Here is a brief guide for making their party a memorable one.

Set a Budget

While there are many things to consider, it is often best to start by setting a budget. How much money do you want to spend on a party? Once you have an overall budget, you can begin breaking that down into different categories such as food, decorations, and venue. This can help you ensure that you don’t go over budget in your planning. If this person is a foodie, maybe it’s best to spring for expensive appetizers like smoked salmon or fancy cheese from Spain. Are they more into having fun? Maybe plan to spend money on a DJ, book a formal venue, or treat them to a bottle of liquid courage.

Who to Invite

Another important consideration is scale. When planning a retirement party, this again comes down to the preferences of the person. Do they like large celebrations or more intimate events? Once you establish the scale, begin making a list of people to invite. Consider family, friends, and work colleagues. If the party isn’t a surprise, ask the guest of honor who should be invited. Invite the wife and kids? Invite the boss? How far to go is up to you. A rule of thumb is to not invite people on the margins—stick to the best of friends and family members. These people can even help you review the guest list to help you determine if there’s anyone you missed.

Time & Place

If you are throwing a party at a place of employment, it is typical to have it around lunch between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. However, if this is an outside of work party, the evening is an ideal choice. When thinking about a place, make sure you have enough space to host the people and any activities taking place. For smaller parties, hosting it at a home can save some money. Go big or go home? Why not both!

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Consider a Theme

A theme can be a great retirement party idea, particularly if it relates to one of the hobbies of the retiree. Consider a theme related to a hobby such as fishing, travel, or the beach. One of the best things about planning a retirement party with a theme is being able to decorate around a central concept, helping you create a memorable experience. Is the retiree a big fan of golfing? All the guests can dress like they’re headed to the country club. Is the lucky person into TV and streaming services? Guests can dress up like their favorite TV or movie characters for a little extra fun.

Plan Food

Food Catering

Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels

You definitely don’t have to go all out on food when planning a retirement party. Something as simple as a collection of appetizers, a barbecue, or even sandwich platters could work well. If you want to get more creative, consider having a taco bar or ice cream sundae bar. Of course, a great retirement party idea is to ensure you are serving some of the guest of honor’s favorite foods. You could also create a special dessert or drink honoring the retiree.

Plan a Memorable Gift

One of the best retirement party ideas is to surprise the guest of honor with a memorable gift. This doesn’t have to be something grand; rather, something meaningful to the person is key. You can go the sentimental route with a framed family portrait, cater to a hobby such as a new golf driver, or offer up nostalgia with a photobook of work memories with notes from colleagues.

Final Thoughts

There is no perfect recipe for how to plan the best retirement party. In reality, it all depends on the individual. Creating a celebration that is meaningful and connects with their personality and interests will go a long way towards helping you be successful. As you begin planning, keep these things in mind.


Suncrest Senior Living


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This information was provided by Suncrest Senior Living. Suncrest offers memory care and assisted living care with several home-based locations in Southeast Michigan.

Interested in learning more about Suncrest Senior Living? Contact Suncrest online, or call at (248) 207-5378.

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