FIRE Milestone – The Glorious Farewell Party


I can’t begin to describe the almost dreamlike surrealness that comes with walking into a beautifully decorated restaurant and reading a BIG banner and cake that say “Congratulations on your Retirement!”  YOUR retirement.  This is IT.  If you aren’t 1000% sure you are ready for early retirement, seeing the BIG cake at the YOUR farewell party certainly will seal the deal.

As I wrote about on Monday, my MegaCorp boss insisted on this big “to-do” to send me off into the sweet corporate good-night.  It was a terrifically well-provisioned affair in the private room of a local restaurant with a buffet of hor d’oeuvres, deliciously rich chocolate cake, plentiful drinks, and a projector & screen set up for a little “show time”.  While I was a bit hesitant about the prospect of a farewell party, it was absolutely terrific.

Given common connotations of retirement life, it does feel a bit like attending your own funeral.  You are leaving the game and the humor flows from it.  Folks from our Corporate Marketing team (old & new) took turns presenting my best of times (and worst of times) at MegaCorp in the most embarrassing way they could muster ;-).  It was all delivered with a great deal of graciousness, charm, and appreciation.  The kind words were really appreciated and will be remembered.

With respect to retiring early (@ 49 years old, heading toward 50), people continue to be quite surprised and VERY supportive.  The whole party had a great vibe, some really thoughtful gifts (including another bottle of The Macallan 18!) and plenty of laughs.  I stayed away from drinking much alcohol early on – so I could lucidly take it all in – but, before long I was doing my best Don Draper with an old-fashioned in hand.

The good company was joined with a handful of great friends and colleagues from the other MegaCorps I have worked for (over nearly 27 years) who also joined in the fun.  It meant a lot to share the moment with people I have known over the course of several decades and drink in some auld lang syne.

Experts say that ceremonies play a powerful role in our lives in announcing and transitioning change.  They play a critical role in bridging the past with the future, and facilitating our individual adoption of a new stage of life.  I’m a pretty sentimental person at heart and this early retirement farewell party was exactly what I needed – it helps me move forward into the great unknown, while reminding me of the real connections I’ve made throughout my time at MegaCorp.

Image Credit:

20 thoughts on “FIRE Milestone – The Glorious Farewell Party

  1. Sounds like a great night and even though you’ve been with MegaCorp for a short period of your overall career you’ve made and impression. Good stuff. Enjoy the last 48 hours of a company man. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad the party felt special to you! I totally agree that we need those ceremonial moments to mark major life events and transitions, and I’m glad your ceremony was a good one. Can’t wait to congratulate you on being officially done with this stage in just two short days!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much! The last two days are just a formality at this point. I only have a couple meetings to drop into tomorrow, and then come in on Friday and drop off my laptop.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ha! With the power of Cerebro I have determined your first name Magneto – it is Eric! Hahaha!

    Sorry, I could not resist… Congrats! It is a wonderful milestone to reach and looks like it was done in the nicest way possible. Seems your Megacorp coworkers will miss you greatly. I’m really happy for you. Earl

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was fantastic – thanks for stopping by – it has been great to see everyone’s enthusiasm!


  4. The title of your post caught my attention because of your age! We are the same age and I am working on making the decision to “ER” too now that I have reached “FI”. I liked what you said about ceremonies being a “critical role in bridging the past with the future”. I will likely not have any real type of party/ceremony because I have moved into a consultant/temporary type position for more freedom. Luckily I have many close friends from my 20+ year position with one school district that help me to stay connected. Thinking about “free at 50” is my driving force even though I have a bad case of “one more year” syndrome this week….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine it’s easy to talk yourself into “one more year”, but I will tell you that even though I’ve been retired only 2 months, it has been SO worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s