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15 Retirement Gift Ideas | Retirement

Key Takeaways

  • When choosing a retirement gift, take into account the recipient’s interests, hobbies and future plans.
  • Consider coordinating with co-workers to give a larger gift from the entire team.
  • Creating a sentimental gift, such as a photo album or video message, can be a meaningful way to show you care.

If you have a co-worker, boss or friend who will soon retire, a well-chosen gift can be a thoughtful way to mark their milestone. A good retirement gift can reflect their professional accomplishments while also teasing their future retirement plans.

As you consider a retirement gift, keep in mind the following options:

  • Personalized retirement gifts
  • Sentimental retirement gifts
  • Group retirement gifts
  • Hobby-related retirement gifts
  • Career-related retirement gifts
  • Travel retirement gifts
  • Gift certificate retirement gifts
  • Experience-driven retirement gifts
  • Organizational retirement gifts
  • Membership retirement gifts
  • Goal-related retirement gifts
  • Humorous retirement gifts
  • Handmade retirement gifts
  • A gift basket
  • A video of good wishes

Personalized Retirement Gifts

Seeing their name on a gift can be heartwarming for the recipient. Consider adding initials to a backpack, jacket or blanket. If you opt for a coffee mug or keepsake, include the years of service the person gave to the company, especially if they were there for a decade or more. Look at Etsy, Things Remembered or Mark and Graham for ideas.

Sentimental Retirement Gifts

“Giving a retirement gift is not just about material items,” said Amira Martin, a psychotherapist and wellness professional in Brooklyn, New York, in an email. “By considering the recipient’s preferences and needs, the giver shows that they value and care about the person, building and strengthening relationships in the process.” If the retiree was your mentor or you have a long-standing relationship with them, put together a photo book featuring images of your time together or even a list of quotes they’ve said that inspired you over the years. Consider Shutterfly and Mixbook as resources to help you get started.

Group Retirement Gifts

If you worked in a team environment, consider a group gift from all the members involved in a specific project or department. Before purchasing such a gift, consult the group for input. If splitting the cost of the gift equally among the team, agree in advance on how everyone will pay and when. In the case of gift cards, ask everyone to donate their desired amount and put that sum on the gift card. In some cases, you may decide to celebrate the occasion by gifting an activity for the whole group, such as a weekend retreat or beach day.

Hobby-Related Retirement Gifts

Did your boss always dream of spending their retirement on a sailboat? Or taking hikes in the country’s national parks? If you are familiar with the person’s plans or interests, you could put together a collection of items that will serve them in retirement. In some cases, the retiree may enjoy a certain sport or activity. For instance, if they have joined a pickleball club, you could give them a gift that will be useful to them in upcoming tournaments.

Career-Related Retirement Gifts

Perhaps the retiree shepherded the company through a difficult time. Or they might have overseen an innovative project that helped open new markets. In some cases, their dedication to showing up every day could serve as an example to others. Brainstorm with colleagues to think of ways that the retiree contributed to the organization during their working years. Then mark the accomplishments on a plaque or frame a picture of the team with whom they worked.

Travel Retirement Gifts

If the person leaving the office has always wanted to visit Europe or tour South America, you might give luggage, travel gear or a guidebook to encourage their pursuits. Ask questions to learn about their timeline and travel companions. You can then shape your gift to fit the destinations on their list.

Dining Retirement Gifts

Taking a friend out to their favorite restaurant to mark their retirement could be an event they will always remember. Tell the waitstaff of your plans so they know it is a special occasion and can do their part to ensure the dinner party is a memorable one. If you want to give an additional present to the retiree, consider a gift card to the hosting restaurant.

Experience-Driven Retirement Gifts

If the individual has always wanted to take art classes or learn a specific craft such as wood carving, now is your chance to turn those dreams into a reality. You could give the gift of tennis lessons, literature courses or an educational course. New retirees may also appreciate noise-canceling headphones so they can block out sound and concentrate on their new hobby.

Organizational Retirement Gifts

Gifting managers and directors with an agenda could help them organize their retirement days. Include a note suggesting they keep track of social engagements, new clubs they join and any part-time work they decide to take on. Calendars, notepads and stationery can also be great gifts for those who thrive on organized schedules.

Membership Retirement Gifts

From enjoying a new cheese every month to sampling wine and fruit, there are many options for gift subscriptions. Purchase a three-month membership to a service that provides local produce or meat. Every time they receive their monthly package, the retiree will think of you – and maybe even invite you over to share in the new foods they are trying. Harry & David, Atlas Coffee Club and Amazing Clubs all offer a variety of membership gift options.

Goal-Related Retirement Gifts

“Retirement is a huge change in life,” said Chanda Torrey, CEO of Gifter World in West Palm Beach, Florida, in an email. Helping the retiree adapt to that change and envision their path going forward can help them maneuver their next steps. A goal-related retirement gift can include a how-to book or a journal they can use to track their progress against those goals.

Humorous Retirement Gifts

While you will likely want to keep it professional, an object that reminds a co-worker of a funny time you spent together could make a thoughtful gift and lift their spirit as they transition to retirement. “It can be mentally challenging,” Torrey said. “You go from working for a lifetime to suddenly not being around people all day.” If the recipient has a humorous gift, they can reflect on these moments of friendship and fun from their career. “Every time they look at it, it will make them smile,” Torrey said.

Handmade Retirement Gifts

If you are crafty or have a way with words, it could be best to make the present you plan to give. Assemble a seasonal decoration or write out a heartfelt card. The gesture could boost both your own morale and the retiree’s sense of belonging. “It helps build self-esteem while giving the individual a sense of joy and purpose,” said David Cohen, the clinical director of Harmony Place, a mental health treatment facility in Woodland Hills, California, in an email.

A Gift Basket

With help from co-workers, collect gifts related to a theme, such as relaxation or reading. Put these small gifts together in a basket and give it to the retiree during a farewell party. Your basket may also include gift cards to retail shops, restaurants or experiences that are related to the theme. If you’re not sure of a theme, get ideas by asking the recipient what they are most looking forward to in retirement.

A Video of Good Wishes

If someone in your workplace is skilled at filming and editing videos, you could create a reel of farewells from co-workers. Have employees record special messages for the retiree. Include remembrances, funny stories and general well-wishes. The videographer can edit the individual clips into a single reel and screen it at a farewell party or send it to the individual to enjoy in retirement.

Sarah Goldberg
Sarah Goldberg

Sarah is a seasoned financial market expert with a decade of experience. She's known for her analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate complex financial concepts. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, is a licensed financial advisor, and enjoys reading and traveling in her free time.

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