Jan 7, 2013

8 Great Gift Ideas for Retirees

By Belinda Romano

If there is one thing many working adults look forward to in life, it's their retirement. After paying one's dues in the workforce, and having spent many days in and out of the office, shop, or classroom, retirement is the silver lining of working hard for many years. Retirement can also be a bittersweet occasion, but it's certainly a time to celebrate and congratulate the retiree's professional accomplishments and successes. But what's the perfect gift for someone who's ready to retire? A champagne toast and a card is always nice, but because this occasion only comes around once in a lifetime, it only seems right to surprise them with something a little more thought out. Whether you're in search of a retirement gift for someone who is adventurous, practical, sentimental, or even something in between, we've rounded up the best gift ideas -- from gadgets to experiences -- to help you wish your loved one a "Happy Retirement!"

Travel Gear

One of the greatest things about retirement is the ability to travel with freedom. With no nine-to-five to report to anymore on a daily basis, spur-of-the-moment trips and getaways become the new routine. A great way to send off a friend or loved on a happy retirement is by giving them travel gifts. Whether it's a new luggage set, a personalized passport holder, or RV accessories, your retiree will appreciate you helping them prepare for their upcoming adventures. Travel Select Journey 4 Piece Luggage Set, $160, available at Macy's.

Hobby Gifts & Accessories

If travel isn't on the near horizon for a soon-to-be-retiree, one thing's still certain: More free time! Since our agenda opens up to more free time after retirement, one can finally dedicate more time to their passions and interests. Does the retiree love golf? How about a personalized putter! Do they love cooking? A gourmet cooking class will be a nice surprise. Whether they love crafting or enjoying the outdoors, a hobby-specific gift will always be a nice touch. Personalized Wood Golf Putter, $299, available at Frontgate.

Gift Cards

Contrary to the bad rap gift cards get for lacking thought and meaning, and being a solution to last-minute gifts, in reality, gift cards can make a great gift for the retired person who would rather buy something they know they want or need and will actually use. Just slip a gift card to their favorite restaurant, department store, hobby shop or salon into a card, and watch them smile when they open it! Nordstrom Classic e-Gift Card, $25-$1,000, available at Nordstrom.

Useful Gadgets

While not everyone is lucky enough to retire before the age of 65, retiring at a more mature age certainly doesn't make one dated and out of touch with the times! Soon-to-be-retirees who love keeping with the times and embrace advancements in modern technology will love gifts that will reflect their contemporary inclinations. Digital tablets or E-readers are winning choices, but a digital camera, MP3 player or a wireless digital media player also make great gifts. Kindle Fire HD, $200, available at Amazon.

Month Clubs

Regardless of what one might say, it's always nice to receive gifts - especially when they come as a surprise! Of-the-Month Clubs have become more popular in recent years, with the options expanding  to more than just wine and flowers. Does the retiree love craft beer? Do they have a sweet tooth? Or do they love crafting? Chances are, no matter what their interests are, there's an Of-the-Month Club out there you can send them as a gift. Wine Clubs, $30-$70, available at Wine.com.

Health Gifts

Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is always beneficial, and when it comes to retirement, many people find themselves striving for such lifestyle. No matter what age one begins, the outcome is always positive and for the better. For the health-minded retiree, a gift that will support their healthy lifestyle or even help them kickstart it - such as a gym membership, a fitness class or even a home gym - will be greatly appreciated. Basic Yoga Kit, $40, available at Amazon.

Experience Gifts

While flowers, cards and bottles of champagne may be a no-fail way to congratuate and celebrate a loved one's retirement, they sure are predictable. Want to really surprise your soon-to-be retiree? Give them an experience they'll never forget! Whether it's a cruise to the Caribbean, wine tasting in wine country, a spa treatment, or even some ballroom dancing lessons, experience gifts will remain in their memories for years to come.


Memories are some of the greatest gifts in life and, after retirement, the amount of great memories one can make is endless. Scrapbooks make a thoughtful retirement gift, and can even be left unfinished so that retirees can add new memories they make. Similarly, you can also gift a digital picture frame with pictures of the family and friends, or even a nice journal, so your retired loved one can jot down experiences and memories made after retirement. Fashion Fabric Top-Load Scrapbook, $11, available at Target.

  • 8 Great Gift Ideas for Retirees
  • Travel Gear
  • Hobby Gifts & Accessories
  • Gift Cards
  • Useful Gadgets
  • Month Clubs
  • Health Gifts
  • Experience Gifts
  • Memories
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8 Great Gift Ideas for Retirees
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