19 AWESOME Retirement Gift Ideas

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Is one of your family members retiring? Are you searching for the perfect retirement gift for them? Or, maybe you have been tasked with finding the best gift for a coworker?

Your search ends here! I have made a productive list of the best gifts for retirement and additionally included some practical advice on how to find a good present for any occasion.

I am certain you will find something in this post that will be perfect for your future retiree!

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How To Choose

Finding the perfect gift is difficult, especially if it is for a once in a lifetime event, such as retirement. You don’t hear of people retiring more than once, so you need to get the gift right the first time because it’s the only chance you’ll get.

I think it’s essential first to determine what type of gift you want to give. A classic one? Something useful or personal? Perhaps even a fun one, like something for a gag.

It’s up to you to decide which type of gift you want to give – it’s your retired friend, after all. In this post, I’ll provide recommendations based upon my personal preference, and I’ve done quite some extensive research to back them up.

Traditional Retirement Gifts

The traditional retirement gift is a watch; a symbol for the person’s years of service and a reminder for the passage of time.

I really admire the symbolism of this gift, although something you should consider before deciding on this one is whether or not your future retiree would honestly appreciate… Is it going to end up in the drawer after a few days?

Useful Retirement Gifts

Perhaps something more useful and functional is feasible. To determine this gift, you first need to know what your future retiree plans to do in their free time during retirement.

They might pick up a new or an existing hobby again – so conceivably you should gift something that aligns with these interests. These could be:

  • A new tennis racket
  • Golf lessons
  • Cooking lessons
  • A Kindle reading device
  • Bookstore gift certificate

Those last two could be valuable ideas if they plan to or enjoy reading books. These are just some ideas out of many different possibilities; you could even ask them casually what he or she intends to do after retiring to get a better perspective.

Personal Retirement Gifts

These days, you can personalise and customise almost any type of item, such as a mug, shirt, set of play cards, and a golf ball. If you’re looking for something more unique than these, I recommend looking at Etsy.

Etsy is an online shop that sells exclusive handcrafted items, which makes them better suited as a unique and authentic gift idea.

Another fantastic idea is a personalised photo book; a place to store wonderful memories such as work-related photos over the years, and special goodbye comments and notes from colleagues.

I had used the photobook as a gift idea for my former colleague when she was retiring, and it was a huge success; she absolutely loved it!

There are several websites that sell these types of customisable products. Here are the many that I came across during my research, and they seem to be very reliable:

You can take a look at these websites; who knows, you might find some more inspiration.

Work-Related Retirement Gifts

Touching again on work-related gifts, this one has to be my absolute favourite – bronzing! You can bronze one of his or her work tools, such as a hammer or office supplies, through a website like Bronzery.

Take a look at the example below of bronzing items to see what they look like after they’re finished.

Good retirement gift idea: bronzed office supplies retireon
Good retirement gift idea: bronzed office supplies (image from Bronzery.com)

If your future retiree is a salesperson, this is another one I think is excellent. You can frame a map of their sales area – all you need to do is find a suitable map.

Google maps can even help you out with this one; you just print the map out on some high-quality paper or photo paper. Add a frame, maybe a little plaque for an added touch of appreciation, and you have you’re own DIY personalised gift.

Gifts of Experience

Movie tickets, theatre tickets, travel vouchers, gift vouchers for cooking or dance classes… These can be very much appreciated gifts to let your retiree experience something new and exciting.

Now that he or she is retired, they will have plenty of time to use the gift of experience. They could even get someone to join them for these moments to share.

Scratch Maps or Charts are another pleasant and satisfying idea. You can get a map of the world that allows you to scratch away the cover of each country that you have visited.

Alternatively, you can get scratch charts for bucket lists, such as for 100 books you should read, or movies you should watch, or musicals you should see. These charts allow you to scratch away whichever book you’ve read, movie you’ve watched, or musical you’ve seen.

I think this is a great gift, especially for those who are determined to see something finished. You can easily find them on Amazon or other online shops.

Now, how about some gender-specific gifts?

Gifts for Women Retirees

I’ll admit, and I’m sure if you’re a woman you would too, that it’s much easier to buy for women than men. There just seems to be so much more a woman uses in her everyday life!

As a general idea, I believe jewellery is perfect. I know this sounds cliche, but I think if you find a piece of jewellery that beautifully matches her style and it’s something that she’ll admire, this can be the perfect gift.

Every time she takes it out to put it on, she’ll think of you – the person who gave it to her. This, in my opinion, makes a gift perfect, because this is ideally what you want; to present her with something she will remember you by.

The same goes for all other accessories, clothes, and such. You need to find something that she is guaranteed to like, and she will most certainly be grateful for it.

Gifts for Men Retirees

As I previously mentioned, it’s always a lot more difficult for me to find gifts for men. I’m faced with this challenge quite regularly when I have to find a gift for my husband, father, or brother.

One of the ideas that made me excited, and I’m confident that the men I know would like, is a “make your own beer or wine kit“.

Good retirement gift beer kit retireon

This is particularly good for someone who is retiring because it gives them something interesting to do. It will also challenge them; making beer or wine and perfecting the taste is no easy feat.

Another good idea is something fishing related, such as fishing rods or tackle boxes. It’s a classic and cliche idea as well, but it’s generally successful.

If you live in Australia, you can visit BCF or Anaconda where I’m confident you will find something for your dad, brother, or partner.

Funny Gifts for Retirement

If a gift can make someone laugh, it’s definitely considered a great gift, however, while you prepare it, you need to make sure that you get the retiree’s sense of humour right or it’s going to fail miserably.

So, how about making fun of their old age? I came across some designer walking canes and magnifying glasses as a superb idea. There are also t-shirts you can purchase with a funny slogan on them, such as “Warning: Retired!” or ” I’ve got nothing to do, and all day to tell you about it!”

These are just some ideas of funny slogans, and they may or may not appeal to you. If you come up with a clever slogan yourself, you can easily print it on a t-shirt through one of those personalised websites I mentioned at the beginning of the post.

So these are my top gift ideas for retirement. Overall, I think it’s crucial that you don’t fall into the trap of stereotypes. When someone retires, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are suddenly old; not every elderly woman enjoys knitting, and not every retired man has an interest in golf.

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and it’s important to take these into consideration before giving them a retirement gift.

If you’re struggling to think of something they would like, I suggest asking them directly. They may tell you not to worry about getting them a gift, but if you persist and ask them what their secret wish is, I can guarantee you that everyone has one.

It’s up to you to decide on the gift in the end, and I wish you the best of luck. I hope these gift ideas give you some new ways to celebrate your coworker, friend, family member, or partner retiring; they deserve it after their long, hard efforts to get there.