Do you have a friend or a co-worker retiring this year? There are many different gift ideas to choose from and one of the most classic retirement gifts is a pocket watch. As the English writer R.C. Sherriff pointed out, watching the clock tick is not useful (or comforting) in your retirement days: “When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch.”
It’s courteous to give a gift that represents the retiree’s years of hard work. And while it’s important to honor someone’s career, not all gifts need to look back at the past. Let your gift allow the retiree to look forward. Retirement gifts should encourage the retired person to enjoy their new leisure time. The gift could involve a hobby, an experience, or family time. Even gag gifts can be a hit. Something that will keep them young at heart and active. To use a cliché, give a gift that keeps on giving. We’ve compiled a list of classic and new gift ideas for the retiree in your life:
Experience Retirement Gifts
Experiences bring people more happiness than owning things. An article from The Atlantic titled “Buy Experiences, Not Things” states, “Experiential purchases are also more associated with identity, connection, and social behavior.Looking back on purchases made, experiences make people happier than do possessions.” In other words, experiences make you happier, and shape your identity.
- Give the gift of a trip. Travelling is a wonderful experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. How could you forget seeing the Coliseum, or the Grand Canyon?
- If a trip is too much, consider gifting new luggage. It suggests travel.
- Concert tickets. Music is one of the most powerful vehicles for nostalgia. Allow the retiree in your life to relive the good ol’ days with a pair of tickets.
- Theater tickets. Experiencing a play or a musical is not only fun, but intellectually stimulating. It can generate fascinating discussions.
Hobby Retirement Gifts
You’ve spent decades planning for retirement. Now it’s here. It’s the perfect opportunity to find a new hobby, or excel in an old one.
- A set of golf clubs. Golf is practically synonymous with retirement. The very nature of the sport makes it ideal for seniors. You get to enjoy nature, walk, play a game, socialize, all at a leisurely pace. A new set of golf clubs can be the perfect retirement gift.
- A fishing rod. Fishing is also often associated with retirement. “Gone fishin’” is the slogan for many retirees, so help them fulfill their dream. Fishing keeps you active, and exposes you to nature. Nothing beats the excitement of a tug on your line!
- Cooking lessons are growing in popularity. They are perfect for couples. What’s more romantic than restaurant quality cuisine and a bottle of wine?
Commemorative Retirement Gifts
Retiring is an accomplishment. It requires years of dedication and hard work to retire. So, honor the retiree in your life with a gift commemorating all they’ve achieved. It may require some creativity to come up with something specific to their work, but here are some ideas:
- A fountain pen is an elegant gift to honor an executive or businessman.
- A throw pillow with their badge or part of their uniform stitched on.
- A plaque recognizing their years of service.
- Preserve a special item unique to their career and displaying it in a glass box.
Funny Retirement Gifts
It’s great to have a sense of humor about getting older. However, you don’t want to offend anyone either. You should know the retiree’s sense of humor and make sure that your gag gift isn’t insulting. Poking fun at their status as an “old person” can be funny to the right type of person.
- A cane. Give the retiree in your life something to lean on.
- A magnifying glass.
- Pepto Bismal.
- A life alert device: “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”
Sentimental Retirement Gifts
Jeff Galak, a business professor at Carnegie Mellon, has this to say about sentimental retirement gifts: “Givers should focus on gifts that exemplify the relationship they had and will hopefully continue to have with the person who is retiring. Research shows that this will not only be well liked by the recipient, but could also strengthen the relationship between gift giver and gift recipient”
- A scrap book. Let your retiree go on a trip down memory lane with a scrapbook. Fill the pages with whatever you wish. It is a great way to consolidate shared memories. tickets, drawings, notes, and inside jokes.
- A photo album. Put together all the photos of you and the retiree. It is touching way to honor the retiree and honor your friendship.
A Heartfelt Note
After the gift is unwrapped, or the wine has been enjoyed, the retiree will open your card. As much as people enjoy gifts, what they really crave is acknowledgment and appreciation. Write a heartfelt note that expresses your sincere gratitude for having them in your life. It costs you nothing, and means everything to the retiree.
We hope you found this list of ideas helpful. To find out when you can retire, check out our retirement readiness calculator.