I am dreading whatever retirement event my work will feel obligated to provide.
I am utterly sick of the retirement events for others leaving and I would just like to leave without a party. But I also recognize that, generally speaking, a simple retirement event is part of work life. And what I mean by "simple " is a sheet cake, purchased by the company, and where a few people come to chat and say goodbye. I am pleased to see that at my work we are finally scaling these things down to a 2 hour party with cake. At one time it was a BIG GIANT event with a dinner at a restaurant that I had to pay for and attend on my own time. No, I don't think that's appropriate.
I had one employee who I liked well enough to honor his request for no party. That's the only person I've ever honored that way. Everyone else is required to have a small event, tiny though it may be. :) and of course there are the attention hogs who have to have a party. One jerk "retired" and had a big party with tons of presents, and then the following week went to his new full time job. I never understood that other than he was an attention hog.
I think it is great when people throw their own retirement party for freinds, family, and co-workers at their own expense, that seems very nice. But to put that burden on managers at work (I are one!) no no no no nope, don't do that to me.
No freaking presents, for god's sake. ugh.