Map of Florida (where all old folks end up)
Now that retirement is upon them, they probably talk a lot about the far-flung places they’re going to visit. There are whole continents to be explored, and the other side of the world is just a plane ticket away. Just smile and nod. We all know where they’re going to end up. Just make sure they don’t get lost.
They put a lot of work, not to mention their heart and soul, into making a vision come true. Show them that someone else noticed with a professionally-made video biography narrating the highlights of their career. A nice final ego kick as they make the transition into old people world.
Being home all day with nothing to do can be a surreal experience for someone who has spent the last 40+ years in the workforce, which makes this Salvador Dalí inspired melting clock the perfect way to mark the persistence of wasting time.
Some people just can’t sit still. That makes retirement a little dicey, and can lead to some bad decisions. Keep them occupied with a new skill to learn every month, curated by people who know how to keep the old folks out of trouble. Kind of like remote babysitters.
You might think that retirement is all relaxation, making this kind of gift redundant. Boy, would you be wrong. There’s all that yard work, all those coupons to clip, and all those young people running around acting a fool. Retirement is just as full of annoyance and monotony as anything else. A spa gift card is worth its weight in gold.
It can be dicey to rely on your 401k or social security check these days. Better fortify them right off the bat with a little old fashioned green paper money. It may not grow on trees, but you sure as hell can put it there yourself. They’re not going to give a damn, as long as they’re the ones doing the pickin’.
The good life is all about quality over quantity. Or maybe it’s about quality and quantity. We’re not here to argue. If they still want to swill down cheap rotgut wine by the box, nobody’s going to stop them. It’s their life, not yours. But here’s a great way to broaden their horizons once a month by introducing them to the stuff that’s popular with the people who don’t mix their chardonnay with diet sprite.
Retirement is all about finding a new perspective. After many decades of being earthbound, everything probably looks about the same from down here. A helicopter ride gives you a unique viewpoint, both above and up-close, letting you see things the way few people get to see them. It’s probably the closest they’ll ever get to being a superhero.
In a couple of generations, nobody’s even going to know what the hell a book is. Have you seen a teenager try to figure out how to use one of their parents’ audio cassettes? But for those of us in the know, books are the real source of pure knowledge and wisdom, untainted by the runoff of digital culture. Like a cold, clear mountain stream, but with words.