Retirement. A special event in the workplace (click on the photo for a larger image).
I always enjoy being involved in a retirement celebration. I was recently honoured to say a few words for one of my team members last week. She retired after a long and distinguished career. Attached is the speech that I used for marking the occasion. Names have been changed. The speech was roughly 500 words or about 3 minutes and change. Just about the perfect length for such an event. Not too long, not too short.
Text of Retirement Speech
Good afternoon everyone.
I am delighted to add my congratulations and best wishes to Jane and I extend a warm welcome to her family. It is wonderful to see John, Mary and Susan with us today to celebrate this special moment. And it is also terrific to see so many of our colleagues here to wish Jane well as she begins her journey into this new chapter of her life.
Jane, I would like to share three things with you today: milestones, Freedom 55 and regeneration.
1974 was a unique time in history.
Rubik’s Cube was invented and it went on to sell somewhere in excess of 350 million cubes.
The first Universal Product Code was scanned — a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum.
A second lieutenant in the Japanese Army surrendered in the Philipinnes — thirty years after the World War II had ended.
The first interstellar radio message was sent to M13, a great globular cluster in Hercules, and it should arrive by the year 27,000 AD
John Draper aka Captain Crunch discovered that a breakfast cereal children’s whistle could create a 2,600 hertz tone. Using this whistle and a blue box he was able to successfully get into AT&T’s phone network and make free calls anywhere in the world.
But perhaps one of the most significant events for Jane in 1974 was the day that she decided to join Empire Life. And we are so pleased that she did.
Jane is close in age to myself which means she is still very young. We spoke about her planning for retirement. And, having worked at a Freedom 55 company, I can give you a few interesting statistics.
Financial Freedom at 65 (not 55): ”¢ 1 person will be financially independent ”¢ 8 will work to maintain a lifestyle ”¢ 14 will work to keep food on the table ”¢ 24 will be no longer be on the planet ”¢ 53 will rely on the government to survive
To achieve such a financial goal in your fifties is a remarkable achievement.
Jane has prepared herself for this new journey and she has planned well. She has worked hard to achieve her goals, not only for this next stage of life but for all of the accomplishments in her life.
We often focus on the financial side of getting ready for retirement. But there is far more to this period of life. I think this is a wonderful and exciting time for Jane. This is a new beginning in life. A time for regeneration.
When we reach a certain age, whether it is fifty-five, sixty-five or seventy-five, we really do not retire. We do not retire from life. Rather, we have a new and evolving mission: we continue on our journey of growth and development and sharing our lives and our love with those around us.
Jane: on behalf of our company and on behalf of your colleagues in our department, I wish you and your family all of the best during this next chapter of life. Continue to grow, continue to develop and continue to make a difference in the lives of those around you.