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Retraité (à la retraite): How to say “retired” in French

Retraité (à la retraite): How to say “retired” in French

Who doesn’t dream of going around telling all their family members and friends, “I’m retired!” Bascially, there are two ways of saying “I’m retired” en français: “Je suis retraité(e)” (adjective) or “Je suis à la retraite”. At the bottom of this lesson I’ve included a cool picture of me doing what I hope to do when I retire! Scroll down and check it out!

retraité / à la retraite


Retraité / à la retraite = retired in French

Retired in French: retraité, à la retraite

Word origin

In French, the two most common ways to expressed “retired” are: prendre sa retraite (literally to take his or her retirement) and être à la retraite (to be retired). According to, retraite comes from the dated French verb retraire (to withdraw, to take out), which in turn comes from the Latin verb retrahere (to pull back, to push aside).

Example sentences

This first example sentence uses fout, which comes from the verb foutre. This verb can be used in the place of faire (to make, to do) and carries a much strong meaning. The form ne…rien (anything, nothing) is an example of an advanced French negation rule.

Jean-Claude est à la retraite et il ne fout rien en ce moment.

Jean-Claude is retired and isn’t doing a darn thing now.

This next example sentence translates literally to: “I will ski in France when I will be retired”. This was not a mistake. We explain this rule in our lesson covering the French future tense. By the way, this example sentence is autobiographical!

Je ferai du ski en France quand je serai retraité.

I will ski in France with I’m retired.

In French, the noun for “retiree” or “retired person” is un/une retraité(e). This example sentence makes use of the structure être en train de, which means to be in the middle or process of doing something. Hence, our loose translation below using the word “currently”. The reflexive verb s’installer translates to “to settle” or “to move in”.

Les retraités sont en train de s’installer dans cette région.

Retirees are currently moving to this region.

This example sentence uses the verb compter, which translates to “to intend” or plan with certainty. The word d’ici is different from ici (here) and means “between now and”, “before” and “by”. This example sentence is also slightly autobiographical. Check in with me in five years to see if I’m still doing these Word of the Day lessons!

Je compte prendre ma retraite d’ici cinq ans.

I plan on retiring within five years.


Félicitations ! Now you know how to say “retired” (retraité/à la retraite) in French! Now check out our lesson covering a related word: les vacances (vacation).

Example of how to use "retraité" (retired) in French. Picture of David skiing in France.
This a picture of me (David Issokson), the author of these French Learner Word of the Day lessons, skiing in Chamonix, France in January, 2023. This is where I hope to be when I’m retraité (retired)!

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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