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33 of the best retirement quotes

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Ah yes, retirement. The dream that many of us secretly wish could start right now, no matter our age. A dream that we are all financially, physically and mentally preparing for, trying to make it happen sooner rather than later. And, of course, a dream that is rapidly becoming a reality for many seniors and some boomers.

How many things can be said about retirement? Apparently, many, many things. From jokes to sage advice to witticisms and goodbye speeches, a simple Internet search turns up an abundance of retirement wishes, both well, and … not-so-well.

For those clients that are about to throw a retirement party, or for a little inspiration of your own, we have scoured the Web to see what’s out there. And boy, have we hit the motherlode. Here, we bring you some of the best retirement quotes from celebrities, artists, philosophers and businesspeople. 

Know some sage advice or quotes that aren’t here? Write them in the comments below.

33. Act as if you’re retired

When you retire, think and act as if you were still working; when you’re still working, think and act a bit as if you were already retired.

Author Unknown


32. Rest is rest

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.

John Lubbock, “Recreation,” The Use of Life, 1894


money magnet

31. Check your bank account

The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.

George Foreman



30. Are you tired?

Retired is being twice tired, I’ve thought. First tired of working, then tired of not.

Richard Armour



29. What’s your passion?

Planning to retire? Before you do, find your hidden passion, do the thing that you have always wanted to do.

Catherine Pulsifer



28. A good job is …

A good job is more than just a paycheck. A good job fosters independence and discipline, and contributes to the health of the community. A good job is a means to provide for the health and welfare of your family, to own a home, and save for retirement.

James H. Douglas, Jr.


family money

27. Even in childhood …

You’re off to great places

Today is your day

Your mountain is waiting

So get on your way.

Dr. Seuss

(From Pinterest)

business senior

26. Keeping busy

I’ve been attending lots of seminars in my retirement. They’re called naps.

Merri Brownworth



25. It’s all about giving

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. 

Winston Churchill 


senior working

24. Still working

I never stopped doing anything [when I retired]. I stopped getting paid for it.

Bill Chavanne



23. Life fulfillment

Preparation for old age should begin not later than one’s teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.

Dwight L. Moody



22. Who moved my cheese?

Retirement: It’s nice to get out of the rat race, but you have to learn to get along with less cheese.

Gene Perret


21. I have a new dream

You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

C.S. Lewis

(From Pinterest)

20. It’s the adventure

Plans are nothing; planning is everything.

Dwight D. Eisenhower 


19. Facing yourself

Retirement is a time to make the inner journey and come face to face with your flaws, failures, prejudices, and all the factors that generate thoughts of unhappiness. Retirement is not a time to sleep, but a time to awaken to the beauty of the world around you and the joy that comes when you cast out all the negative elements that cause confusion and turmoil in your mind and allow serenity to prevail.

Howard Salzman


18. What if you didn’t have to work another day?

Choose a work that you love and you won’t have to work another day.



17. Is retiring useless?

I actually think the whole concept of retirement is a bit stupid, so yes, I do want to do something else. There is this strange thing that just because chronologically on a Friday night you have reached a certain age … with all that experience, how can it be that on a Monday morning, you are useless?

Stuart Rose


16. More green, please

You can be young without money, but you can’t be old without it.

Tennessee Williams


15. Welcoming retirement with arms wide open

I’m retired — goodbye tension, hello pension!

Author Unknown


14. Some people never retire

Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.

Louis Armstrong 


13. Not even snow will stop me

My retirement plan is to find a shopping cart with good snow tires.

Patty Doyle



12. More coffee, please

Retirement: World’s longest coffee break.

Author Unknown


11. What retirement?

I think retirement’s for old people. I’m still in the business, thank you. I have a young child of nine years old, and I want to live as long as I can to see him grow up. I’m enjoying my life and I want to stick around for as long as I can.

Harrison Ford (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)


10. What happens in Vegas …

Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.

Jonathan Clements


9. It’s about life

And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln 


8. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me. I never had the time before to notice the beauty of my grandkids, my wife, the tree outside my very own front door. And, the beauty of time itself.

Hartman Jule


7. Live as if it is your last day

Living each day as if it were your last doesn’t mean your last day of retirement on a remote island. It means to live fully, authentically and spontaneously with nothing being held back.

Jack Canfield


6. Time to enjoy great wine

Age [along with retirement] appears to be best in four things — old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.

Francis Bacon


5. Want a Rolex?

When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch.  

R.C. Sherriff 


4. Work is fun, fun is work, what?

Middle age is when work is a lot less fun and fun is a lot more work.

Author Unknown


3. Where are you going?

Slow down and enjoy life [in retirement]. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

Eddie Cantor


2. How to spend time

Retirement can be a great joy if you can figure out how to spend time without spending money.

Author Unknown


1. Sail away

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain


See also:

31 of the best retirement jokes

10 worst states to retire rich

Women in sales: closing one gender gap by shutting another


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