For armed services / military retirees see the post – “Military Retired – How to Address” .

How to Write My Name as a Retiree?

What is the proper use of my former title on business cards now that I am retired?  Is it acceptable to use my previous work title with a ‘retired’ following the title?
—————-– S.C.

Dear S.C.

Neither business nor social cards include former offices you’ve held.

—-#1) Business Cards: The purpose of a business card is to transfer contact information. As is implied in the name, it’s exchanged so people can be in contact for some work-related activity. These cards have the official form of your name, company name, job title and contact information. They include post-nominal abbreviations like Ph.D., M.D., M.B.A. or R.N. A business card is not your resume/CV.
—-So if you are a consultant now, include that fact and the field in which you have expertise.  If potential clients are interested in the job’s you had, it will come up in conversation or they will ask for / check your website for / your CV/resume.

—-#2) Social Cards: What you are asking about is a social card (calling card) which is a rare thing now-a-days. Social cards have the social form of your name and  contact information. It does not include company names or job titles. Since it’s the social form of one’s name – it does not include professional post-nominal abbreviations: Ph.D., M.D., M.B.A., R.N., etc.
—-But the social form of your name does include a personal rank if you have one: Dr., Ambassador, Judge, or General.  With it you will at least hint on your past endeavors.

Note on military ranks: ‘Branch of service’ or ‘retired status’ are included in the official form of one’s name but are not part of the social form of one’s name.

– Robert Hickey

Related Forms of Address:
—-Couples: Military
—-Couples: Private Citizens
—-Couples: U.S. Officials
—-Couple, Same Sex
—-First Names
—-Gender-Neutral Honorifics
Man or Woman, Social
—-Woman, Married
Mrs. vs. Ms.
Spouse of an Official

Related Posts:
—-Candidate for Office
—-The Honorable, Use of
—-The Late, Use of
—-Pro Tempore


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”