53 Thoughtful Gift Ideas For a Retirement
It’s time to buy a gift for that retirement party. What should you get? What’s the best retirement gifts?
This roundup of retirement gift ideas should help ring in this new chapter in their life. The main thing to remember is to read your relationship with the retiree. Is it appropriate to give a funny retirement gift? Or should it be more heartfelt? Let that get guide your decision.
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Updated Aug 5 2021 By Kevin Larue
After two years of testing, The Wirecutter rated the OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker the best cold-brew coffee maker.
Magazines and newspapers are nostalgic and feel almost indulgent— which makes it a perfect gift.
Never lose your keys or your phone with this bluetooth tracker. (Also doubles as a selfie remote!)
For the beach or the yard, this giant Tic Tac Toe game will come in handy.
Homes are place to get cozy. This blanket is ultra soft and cozy.
Double sided puzzle for a Frank Lloyd Wright fan.
If there’s one thing your recent-retiree is going to be spending a lot of their free time doing, it’s drinking wine. However, it’s probably been quite a long time since they were bought a nice, attractive set of wine glasses. This Ellery set from Anthropologie presents class, taste, and unique style in four glasses of differing shapes, so that the retiree can enjoy a glass in whichever vessel best suits them, or intrigue guests with vino presented a little unusually.
Kobo has been storming the eReader market now for quite some time, and for good reason. Their innovative, accessible builds make reading eBooks easier than ever. Waterproof, and with a touch screen as well as page-turn buttons, the recipient can spend their retirement reading whichever books they choose, whichever way up they choose (the Forma can be tilted to suit reading style). The buttons make this an easy eReader to use, especially handy for retirees with little technological experience. Why not pair this with the Kobo eBook gift card below for a truly special retirement present?
Physical books are where it’s really at, but they can be a little heavy to carry around on all of the cruises and jet-setting vacations your loved one is about to depart on! Kobo has one of the most extensive eBook libraries on the market today, so why not treat the retiree to a gift card for their site. Let them choose the perfect book(s) to accompany them on holiday. Maybe you could even pair the gift card with an eReader from Kobo, like the one featured above!
Retirement doesn’t have to mean you stop moving, but it can be hard to work up the motivation to leave the house and get exercising, when you’ve no longer got a job to go to. For years Fitbit has specialised in designing sleek, modern watch-style bands to keep track of your health and wellbeing. From monitoring how much sleep you get a night, to your heart rate, step count, and more, give the gift of wellness to a new retiree.
Why’s it so hard to get a good quality English Muffin these days? Probably because you’ve never tried the muffins from Wolfman’s Bakery! This grand gift basket has the works, with berry preserves, apple loaf cake, muffin bread, blueberry scones, and an incredible range of super thick, super fluffy English Muffins. A gift basket like this will put a smile on a retiree’s face, and keep it there for months to come. Give the gift of afternoon tea fit for a queen.
If the recent retiree in your life is anything like every other retired person, they’ll do themselves a favour and hire (or buy) an RV for vacation. Touring the country (or the world) whenever the heck you like is one of retirement’s premier joys, but it surely wouldn’t be complete without a fashionable novelty tote bag to accompany it. This cute “RV there yet” tote rides the line between cheesy and fun just perfectly, adding a little humour to your retiree’s trips, whilst giving them something stylish to keep their belongings in.
Okay, let’s face it: clichés exist for a reason, and in this case, the reason is that retired people love to play golf. Whether they’re new to the game, or a seasoned pro, golf balls will get lost, and golf balls will refuse to be found. Everyone loves to be treated to a new set, and what better way to show your retiree that they’re worth every penny than with a set of the very best balls in the biz?
Too often women are overlooked in the golfing community; don’t let that be the case when it comes to your newly retired elder. She may or may not have golfing experience, but she’s bound to love the sport once she gives it a try - give her a helping hand by starting her off with this most excellent golf club set from Tour Edge, available in a range of striking, attractive colours. Make your mother, sister, or grandmother the envy of the golf club with this sleek set of drivers, wedges, putters and irons.
Some retirees are lucky enough to be able to tour the world, others, not so much. Whether the person you have in mind is a nomadic traveller or not, treating them to a taste of what the world’s wonderful cuisines have to offer is an incredibly thoughtful gift to give. Try The World curate food and drink subscription boxes from different countries every month and sends them to the recipient’s doorstep. Previous boxes have delivered meals from France, Spain, Sweden, Argentina, Morocco and India.
Has your parent or grandparent been talking a lot lately about fixing up the house? In the run up to their retirement, is all they can speak about how they’re going to renovate the bathroom, redo the kitchen, spruce up the backyard? Well, they’re going to need the proper tools for the job! This 28-piece tool kit from Klein Tools covers all the bases, looks exceptionally inviting and accessible, and comes with safety glasses, to keep your loved one safe when hammering, drilling and sawing away. (At least with a kit as good as this, they can’t blame their tools for their shoddy workmanship!)
John Rebus is one of the most enduring characters in crime fiction, first appearing in Knots & Crosses in 1987. Since then, author Ian Rankin has climbed to heights of renown in the crime fiction world previously thought unreachable. Treat your retiree to this most alluring of bestsellers, and allow them to deep dive into the gritty underbelly of the Edinburgh (Scotland) crime world. We promise, this will keep them hooked and coming back for more!
Whether it goes up in the backyard, down on the beach, by the porch or streetfront, a hammock like this will bring endless hours of Brazilian-level relaxation to your loved one’s or colleague’s retirement. Easy to put up, it’s both sturdy, attractive, and indescribably comfortable. What’s more, it’s pretty affordable, too, coming in at under $100.
Whether it’s on a cruise or in the comfort of their own home, a perfectly tranquil way to pass the empty hours of retirement is with an adult colouring book, like this oceanic-themed one from acclaimed creator and illustrator Johanna Basford. Having popularised the boom in colouring books for adults, Basford has continued creating intricate, beautiful and detailed books to help soothe stresses and concentrate the mind through the fantastical pastime of colouring.
Working full-time, raising and feeding a family, maintaining friendships and looking after yourself along the way… by the time you’ve reached retirement, chances are you’re raring to start doing things for yourself. Many retirees like to start a new hobby, and what more fulfilling a new hobby could there be than bread-making? This super easy-to-use touchscreen breadmaker will make breadmaking a joy for your retiree, filling their home daily with the scent of new bread for them to fatten up on!
Now here’s a wonderful gift idea that won’t break the bank. A five-piece whisky glass set with an acacia wood placemat with blackboard inlay. Whether your retiree would prefer to use them for a casual sampling of gin and tonics, a cocktail night, or indeed a whisky tasting, the experience can be elevated by chalking up what they, or their guests, are about to enjoy (see example pictured).
“At my age, getting ‘lucky’ means finding my car in the parking lot.” Here’s a hilarious, yet artfully crafted coffee mug to put a smile on any retiree’s face alongside their morning coffee. Unlike most novelty mugs, this one from Mud Pie is genuinely well-made, with gorgeous, colourful stripe inlay. A gift to suit most budgets, and not one anyone else will have thought of!
Not that old age means you like everything to be old fashioned, but hey, who doesn’t enjoy an old fashioned when it comes to cocktails? These stunning tumblers are perfectly suited to serve up a range of hard or soft drinks in the classiest of styles. Take your retiree back to their youth with a stylish set of the finest drinkware from Mikasa.
Shall we talk about the elephant in the room? Retirement for those with grandkids means, well, looking after the grandkids! Grandchildren can be demanding, but they can also be a joy. Giving the gift of quality time spent between the youngsters and their grandparents is a truly beautiful kind of a present. Here’s a gorgeous, vintage bookshelf edition of everyone’s favourite family board game: Scrabble.
Retired, adjective: enjoying life, travelling, not my problem anymore. Is there a faster way to communicate with comedy the feelings of a person who’s just hit retirement? We certainly don't think so! This stylish, high-quality cotton t-shirt comes in a wide range of colours, and is silly without being stupid. We think your retiree’s going to love it, and start wearing it as part of their go-to wardrobe.
Hitting retirement is one of life’s biggest milestones, and we think it should be commemorated in style, with something personalised, colourful, and fun. By submitting a photo of your colleague, partner, or parent, you can have them transformed by this Etsy artist into a funny caricature, pictured in their (soon-to-be-ex) place of work.
There’s a lot on this list referencing travel, but that’s because it’s one of the most popular pastimes for retirees, finally financially independent of children and with a nice monthly income to enjoy. Here’s a gorgeous idea for a quality keepsake to encourage travel and adventure right into old age. Personalise this brass compass keepsake with a message of your choosing (up to 60 characters).
Old bones need protection from the elements, and every retiree loves a good blanket, just ask your gran! Here’s a selection of attractive tartan-weave cotton blankets, which you can choose to have personalised in a number of ways, with a hand-embroidered message. Perhaps “Good luck in your retirement!” would do the trick; it’s up to you!
Cruises are expensive, so why not leave the booking of them up to the retiree, rolling in their retirement fund. Treat them instead to something a bit silly, a bit daft, and a bit of a gag: a diecast model of a cruise ship, which they can stare at longingly until their actual cruise comes around!
With lots more free time on their hands than they’ve likely had to deal with before, a great gift for a retired person is something which can keep them both entertained and occupied for days on end. Enter ‘puzzles worth framing’ from Jiggy Puzzles. These puzzles, based on the work of independent artists, are truly stunning: from the packaging, to the art, to the puzzle pieces and the finished article, these puzzles will take up plenty of your retiree’s free time.
Now that your recent retiree will be spending a whole lot more time around the house, why not gift them something with which to decorate their space. We suggest a framed photo print of you and other loved ones, to help keep them company. Retirement can be a joyous time in life, but there’s no pretending it can’t get lonely from time to time. The framed faces of loved ones can keep any house warm and welcoming during even the toughest of times.
If you’re already experiencing the aches and pains which are a natural part of growing older, think how it must feel for your colleague or loved one who’s about to retire! Help them stave off the worst of the muscular gripes with one of these innovative massager guns from TokFit, equipped with several different heads fit to work all areas of the body.
Retirement is the perfect time to try something new, step out of one’s comfort zone, and do-it-yourself! Here is a gorgeous DIY learn-to-paint gift set, with watercolours, brushes, tutorial book and watercolour pad. Customers rave about it and have stated that it’s the perfect gift set for the novice or even complete beginner.
Wish your retiree a happy retirement with a customised card from Moonpig. Here’s one of the most attractive cards, decorated with colourful confetti and with space for you to insert a picture of the happy retiree front and centre (or a gag image, it’s up to you!). Moonpig’s cards are all of the highest quality, and can be sent directly to the recipient if necessary.
Whether it’s a hunting trip, a fishing jaunt, a hike into the mountains, or a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll, retirement means you can accompany any outing with an alcoholic beverage, safe in the knowledge that a hangover will never impede a working day ever again! This classy matte black stainless steel hip flask is engraved with the words ‘well-deserved’, which we think is most fitting for a retirement gift.
For the recent retiree with a sense of humour, this classic retirement book from Dr. Seuss (the acclaimed and hilarious children’s author), takes you through all of the silly, joyful, woeful moments in the grand journey that is getting older. In fact, whether your retiree has a sense of humour or not, this book is guaranteed to put a smile on their face.
Here’s a cheap, funny gift to suit any recently retired driver. A bumper sticker instructing those long lines of traffic stuck behind the old codger to ‘go around’ them. Give the gift of a laugh with this funny bumper sticker, all for the price of a coffee.
The Most Common Retirement Gift
Did you know that the most common gift for retirement is a gold pocket watch? Not just because it’s a watch either. It symbolizes quality craftsmanship and is supposed to be an actual and metaphorical reminder of the passage of time.
Now days it may not be quite as valued as it was in years past. But if you have that person who appreciates gifts like this, it’s still a beautiful gift.
Are Gifts Required?
Of course, it’s a kind gesture but there seems to be a variety of opinions on this subject.
If someone is retiring from your office and is a co-worker, then often people within the office will chip in and celebrate.
If it is a family member or close friend that has retired, then that is more of a personal preference as to whether a gift is given.
Retirement Gift Etiquette
If you do decide to reward that hard work, there are no rules on giving gifts to a retiree. It may be fun to choose a gift that matches the new relaxation that accompanies their change in lifestyle.
Some people finally consider this next chapter a perfect time to do the things they never had the chance to do such as travel. Remember everyone’s hobbies and personality when choosing a gift.
How Much To Spend
This entirely depends on what you’d like to spend and the route you decide to go. There are a wide variety of price tags between gag gifts, travel accessories and gold jewelry. Do what works for you and the relationship you share with the retiree.
What To Write In The Card
Whether you work with the retiree or know them on a more personal level, everyone appreciates cards. Handwritten messages are always best.
These men and women have often dedicated more than half of their lives to their work. Letting them know you appreciate their work ethic and commitment means a lot.
Keep It Simple
- Enjoy your new status as a retiree! It’s the last time you’ll need to start a new job.
- Don’t forget to spend a little of your extra time with us. We’re so happy for you!
- You are one of the hardest workers I have ever known. You deserve a great retirement, but I know you will still keep yourself busy.
- Retirement is the working person’s wish come true. Here’s to finally getting your wishes granted!
- You can be taken out of the workforce, but the work force can never be taken out of you. I am confident you’ll never stop working on things you love to do.
Make Them Laugh
- God retired after just 6 days of creating the heavens and the earth. What took you so long?
- No one ever stops working, they just get a new boss. Your boss lives in your own house. Good luck getting time off.
- Re-tiring is when you replace old tires with new tires. Isn’t that more like what your employer is doing?
- “Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.” –Harry Emerson Frosdick
- “A retired husband is often a wife’s full-time job.” –Ella Harris