Retirement is a momentous occasion that marks the turning point from, “Jesus, I can’t believe I have to do this another day,” to “Holy Christ, what the hell am I going to do with all this time?” A major milestone indeed. And whether it’s goodbye or good riddance, you’re sure to have some feelings about losing that retiree to the great hereafter. Whether you’re looking for retirement gifts that are sentimental and thoughtful, things that are useful, or gag gifts to subtly taunt them about their advancing age, you can find your retirement gift muse lurking somewhere on this page.
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.
The great thing about retirement is that you can finally say whatever the hell you want, because you’re no longer bound by the normal financial and social rules. If you put it on a business card, they can say it without even having to open their mouths. Help make retirement a time of great relaxation and catharsis.
Assuming it is possible for everyone else to swallow their jealousy long enough to write something nice, a signature frame is probably the most meaningful retirement gift a person could receive. This is also assuming the person retiring wasn’t a huge jerk their entire career.
When you are retired, time doesn’t mean quite the same thing anymore. The day clock will tell you what day of the week it is (they all blend together), and it will give you a vague sense of what time it might be (which, let’s be honest here, is all you really need). What it won’t tell you is what the exact time is (let the working stiffs worry about that).
A bottle of Dom Perignon is the gold standard in beverages for celebrating a major milestone. It’s also rumored to naturally run through the veins of royalty, explaining its popularity with social climbers. And while one bottle of the Dom isn’t going to turn them into a king, it can make them feel like one for a night. And after all, isn’t that what a retirement party is all about? Help them kick off the rest of their life with a bang — or at least a hearty pop.
When you are on a fixed income, any extra bit of money helps. That’s why making a lovely bouquet of (potential) extra money is such a fun idea. Why not just give cash, you may be asking? Here’s a reason: if they win, they might share with you, but they’re definitely not going to share the cash you just gave them.
The plane has finally landed, and it’s time for them to get off. It’s been a wild ride, but who’s to say that retirement won’t be even wilder? Here’s a special delivery of unique messages to that newly retired person - 31 of them, to be exact. Enough to ease them into their new life of freedom and do-whatever-they-damn-well-please with a daily reminder of how much they’re appreciated. Good job, old champ. You’ve come out the other end smelling like a rose. Choose from ready-made sets with messages already included, blank cards that you can fill in yourself, or Kindnotes will custom print your personalized set and jar.
Dr. Seuss isn’t just for kids, you know. He wrote books for people of all ages, even the ones who are at retirement age. This hilarious and insightful gift will be a pleasant surprise for any loved one entering their golden years who loves to laugh and remembers being young.
Let’s be honest, this is what they’ve been working towards: margaritas at 10 in the morning. Or whenever. And nobody wants the hassle of having to clean yesterday’s fiber pulp out of the blender or remember a recipe just to enjoy what they’ve earned. A dedicated frozen cocktail machine is the only sensible answer. The taste of paradise on command whether they live in the tropics or in a trailer park in Idaho.
Progress can be harder to track when you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck anymore. Here is a solution for the retiree who doesn’t want to spend all their time feeding birds. After all, the hardest part of staying busy is coming up with the ideas. But give the old champ a set of challenges, and watch them spring to life with a renewed vigor. All it takes is a little encouragement, and maybe a slight disregard for personal safety.
Making it to retirement can sometimes be like getting to a vacation destination after an interminably long drive only to realize you don’t know why the hell you came. Help them begin their golden years with a good laugh and a head full of questionable but outrageously fun ideas. At last, they’re freed from the shackles of gainful employment. Now is the time to let it rip.
There is no greater symbol of no-frills comfort than the classic hammock. They’re too old now to be confined to the standard furniture used by the sheeple who still wake up every morning to go to work. This retirement gift is the epitome of primal luxury.
This engraved picture frame accurately captures the bittersweet realities of retirement, at once reminding them of all the things they’ll never miss about working (hundreds of problems and endless meetings), and the things that made it all worthwhile (everlasting friendships, unforgettable memories). The picture you choose to complement this poignant message is up to you. Maybe a collage of security cam footage showing all the times they stole food out of the break room refrigerator? Depends on how nice you want to be.
Almost everyone has a bucket list. But if you talk to enough people, you’ll find that a lot of those buckets are kind of empty. The Bucket List Experiences Gift Box allows you to dump a whole bunch of stuff into someone’s bucket, and let them pull one of those things out for free. It’s simple: for a flat price, you buy them access to a whole list of unique activities and experiences at locations across the world, and they get to choose whichever one tickles their fancy the most.
Not everybody on the brink of retirement is looking to cut the cord altogether. It’s nice to have a little reminder of the place they gave some of their best years to, even if it’s only in the form of a small trinket. Sort of like the way that poison in small doses can be healthy.
The world is a huge place, and it can be hard to keep track of where you have been and where you still want to go. This personalized travel map comes complete with color-coded flags and pins to help with that. It’s the perfect decoration to hang in the RV.
It’s been proven that a bottle of wine tastes a lot better once you don’t have to worry about the hangover. For decades, bizarre responsibilities like work and family have cut into their drinking time. That’s all over now, as they’ve entered the glorious don’t give a f*ck stage of life. It would be a shame if their retirement gifts didn’t reflect this.
Like they always say, go big or go home. In this case, it’s all about going big right before they go home for good. And these super-jumbo sized retirement cards from Zazzle are more than just big — they’re, like, really big. Big enough to swallow your children and pets whole if they were, say, a Venus fly trap. But thankfully these are not menacing, man-eating plants. Sort of the opposite, really.
So, yes, we agree that this informative book might make more sense as a ten-years-until-retirement gift, but there is still plenty of good stuff in here that will come in handy even for someone who has already retired. Better late than never we say!
It took years of hard work to reach this point. Or, more likely, years of pretending to work hard. When someone finishes a marathon, they get all kinds of swag to prove they made it from start to finish, and that’s only a few hours of discomfort. We’re talking about decades of stress, annoyance, and repressed murderous impulses here. They’ve earned the right to wear their journey for everyone to see.
If there’s anyone you should turn to for sound financial advice, it’s a Boglehead — the devotees of the late great John C. Bogle, founder and CEO of The Vanguard Group. Follow the Bogleheads through the pages of this easy-to-read book toward the light of a financially secure future. Even if you currently have no idea at all what you’re doing, the Bogleheads will take you by the hand and lead you down the righteous path of retirement solvency. It’s like having a miniature financial genius in your back pocket. Except you never have to worry about sitting on him.
Make no bones about it: it’s over. That’s a doorway they’re never going to walk back through again. And life is so much sweeter on the other side, something that they can remind themselves of with every bite. Time to stick a fork in that old job.
An enduring American symbol of freedom and self-determination. Like a bald eagle with wheels. Now that retirement is upon them, the known world is home. All that’s left is to go out and show everyone who owns it, just like they’ve always said they would.
Without a boss to “inspire” them to move their ass everyday, the risk of becoming catastrophically sedentary increases with every passing year. They don’t need to train like they’re gearing up for Mr. Olympia or Miss Universe, but it would be a good idea to get off their keester every once in a while. They’ll enjoy their afternoon gin and tonic and their Matlock reruns a lot more when they feel like they’ve earned it.
The practice of cultivating bonsai trees has been refined over the centuries into a special art in Japan, one that is heavy with symbolism relating to balance, harmony, and the different stages of life. Who knows if they’re going to care about all that. It sure beats another spider plant.
Now that they’ve got a little more time on their hands, they can master that whole cooking thing. Of course, that doesn’t mean they have to do it all on their own. A Blue Apron subscription means the right ingredients get delivered straight to their door, so they can set about making meals that would impress a chef, even if the only chef they know is Boyardee.
If you haven’t heard, the digital publishing revolution has been in full swing for years now. Anyone can order their own custom created books, pamphlets, and other propaganda material with the click of a button. Online printing experts Shutterfly have gotten in the game with a custom printed photo book. No more slipping Polaroids into clear plastic sleeves. That was cool in the 60s, but we’ve come a long way since then. Now you can commission the kind of glossy, professionally bound photo book that used to be reserved for the fancy-pantsed big shot photographers.
Everyone wants to belong somewhere. When that somewhere allows you to buy daily necessities in bulk for super cheap, that somewhere manages to fill multiple needs at once. And let’s face it, it’s a lot better than watching them run off to join a cult.
Work may have been a strain on their marriage, a major source of emotional stress, and a general pain in the ass, but at least it gave them a reason to get out of the house for all those years. The great thing about museums is that it’s one of those places you can wander around and stare at things without being asked to leave. They’re going to need more places like that.
They worked damn hard for this part of their life, and they deserve some free stuff. Or, if not free, at least cheap. This is like the cool kids club for old people, except everyone can get in if they pay the dues. There’s no reason they can’t go on living in style.
Let’s be real: financial advisors are really there to take your money. Behind that smarmy smile and questionably tailored suit is a walking, breathing, organic pile of self-interest. It’s about time someone dished on what truly makes retirement rewarding. This kind of advice is what they’ve really been waiting for.
Whatever colors they wore in their younger, more spry years, you can bet they wore them with pride. But god knows they’re not going to fit into that uniform anymore. And even if they did manage to force their old carcass into those youthful dimensions, it would probably only make everyone a little worried for their mental health. But turn it into an everyday use item like a tote bag, and they’ll look stylish as all get-out.
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.
Get them started on that Bucket List while there’s time and health to finish it, with a tangible, physical bucket. They can pick an adventure whenever life permits. It's a gift that gives them the opportunity to make memories, rather than giving them a reason to make more closet space.
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.
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.
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.
People still get pensions? Retirement is the BEST. Give the gift of smug satisfaction with one of these novelty mugs and glasses that tells the world your favorite retiree is kicking back, forgetting about all the stress, and still getting paid every month.
The only to-do list that helps to complete itself, this fun pillow is the essence of retired life. It is unclear why the back side of this plush novelty is made to resemble old concrete. Perhaps the answer will come in a dream.
Lobsters have many, many great qualities, not least among them are their nutritional and flavor profiles. But they’re dumb as dirt, exceptionally slow, and don’t drive. So if it’s inconvenient for you to go all the way to the ocean to find the best lobsters, you’re going to have to get someone to mail them to you. Thankfully, lobster mail is now a reality.
Bobbleheads were cool at sometime in the past, apparently, but not anymore. We realize this. But consider that the same is probably true for a person just entering retirement. Cool a long time ago, now not so much. Well the gift should match the recipient, right? It just makes sense.
It’s a great big world out there, and now that they’re old enough that their employer is fine with them not coming in to work anymore, they’re going to need some guidance. Don’t let them spend their golden years aimlessly roaming public buildings and eating hot dogs at Target every day just because they don’t have any better ideas. We’ve got fifty U.S. states genuinely packed with beautiful, breathtaking, and sometimes downright weird surprises. It’s enough to fill a few lifetimes at least. So give them the information they need to get to it.
Just because the company didn't give the retiree in your life an award does not mean they didn’t deserve one. Class up the place with a cut crystal eagle or a rosewood plaque. It’s the perfect thing for them to put in their home office while they stare vacantly at the wall.
After so many years of dutifully showing up and doing what needs to be done, they might need a little nudge to let them know it’s fine to loosen up the old belt, let their hair down, and do their own thing. What the heck, maybe even hit up the dispensary on the way home (if they live in one of those states). After all, what better way to relax than to sit back and take a few deep breaths.
Retirement is the time to focus on the good, to commemorate all of the positive achievements the retiree has contributed over the past decades. This beautifully designed retirement plaque is a reminder of exactly how long they’ve been hanging around the old joint, and a thoughtful nod to all of the happiness they’ve left behind. And not a single mention of any questionable decision making, public blunders, or lingering harassment claims. Nothing but good vibes.
Knowledge is the lifeblood of commerce, and sharing knowledge is how the human race continues its noble march toward destruction. But these days, people would just as soon carry a stone tablet as a paperback. An Amazon Kindle is the best way to look smart in public without seeming like a relic.
Just because someone wants to have a smartwatch doesn’t mean it has to ruin their sophisticated wardrobe. Conversely, just because someone wants a classy watch doesn’t mean it has to be as dumb as…an old watch. The Armani Touchscreen Smartwatch bridges that gap elegantly, with a classic analog-style watch face as well as Android and iOS compatibility. The Armani touchscreen allows them to text, track their activities, monitor their sleep, control the music on their smartphone, and tell the time (as if anyone does that with a watch anymore).
Now that they're retired they will probably need to find a few new hobbies. Art could be a good pastime, although they may not be ready to create their masterpiece or even draw a straight line. Better to start small with something simple and build their artistic skills from there. And since they're retired, and there's no one to tell them what to do, they're free to color outside of as many lines as they want.
Entering retirement means living on a fixed income, which means what they really want for a retirement gift is money. However, money is not the world’s most creative gift so you may want to present it in a creative way. If you’ve ever tried to hand someone a fistful of wadded bills as a gift, you know that doesn’t always go over so well. If you’ve got an artistic hand (or access to YouTube), you can make those bills into something that passes for more than a simple monetary transaction.
Make them feel better about their slow slide into dementia with this compilation of some of the funniest mental lapses in history. They might not remember to thank you for this gift, but they will at least laugh out loud. If they can remember where they put it.
We can’t emphasize this enough: you ride the motorized cooler full of drinks to the party, you drink its contents, and then you WALK it back home. Nobody wants to be the guy on the news who got arrested for drunk driving an empty cooler. So stay safe.
The world is full of natural and man-made wonders, and in the modern age we have the means to visit all of them, and furthermore to get there within a day or two. And every one of these wonders is better seen while you’re still alive, which the title of this book is not shy about pointing out. Retirees need something to shoot for in their golden years, and 1000 is quite the ambitious number. Now that they’re not tied down to that silly job anymore, it’s time to dust off the old traveling boots and regain a sense of adventure.
The beginning of retirement is like a starter pistol that tells you to booze it up. There’s really no reason to be sober anymore. The problem is that kind of drinking gets expensive. Time to become the first-world old folks version of the subsistence farmer: the artisan drinker.
Generally speaking, the last person in the room who needs more wine is the person who’s already gone feet up. But as long as that posture signals relaxation and not unconsciousness, it’s probably fine. There may be a moral grey area, but that’s not your problem. This is the perfect gift for the most shameless wino you know.
Just like a snake sheds its own skin, retirement is the time when they can finally get rid of that stuffy old identity that served them so well for all these years. The one that made them seem dependable, reliable, and competent, and kept them employed throughout their working life (hopefully). Because deep down inside, we all know it’s killing them. This is not a deck of business cards. This is a portal into an alternate universe where their wildest dreams of bizarre and exciting professional identities all come true.
The beer world has truly exploded with breweries over the last decade-plus, which is great for anyone who likes trying new things. However, this proliferation of choice has a dark side. Dyed-in-the-wool beer lovers now face overwhelming anxiety every time they go to pick up a six pack or fill up a growler. The Craft Beer Club removes this pain point by making the necessary choices for all involved, so beer time can go back to being the sweet revelation it used to be.
Some might consider it the ultimate display of human privilege to begin claiming faraway stars just because we have a few extra dollars in our pockets. But once you realize that the universe is far bigger than you think it is, you’ll cool off a little. There’s more than enough to go around for everybody. Several billion times over. So go ahead and give someone a little piece of the cosmic pie. Nothing to get all riled up about.
Give the gift of beauty with a piece of original artwork from Artsy. These are not prints. This is the real thing, suitable for mature adults with refined tastes, like a retired person is supposed to have. Of course, some of the stuff here maybe isn’t all that refined, but at least it is original.
What a way to walk off into the sunset! These fashionable flip-flops allow the new retiree to leave a trail of words like breadcrumbs down the beach beckoning one and all to follow along and bring some suds to share.
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’.
Just give it to them. Don’t make a big deal about it, or give them diet books or a lecture or anything like that. They know. They have figured out for themselves that their body is not quite the well-tuned machine that it once was. Just give the Fitbit, and leave the rest to them.
Nothing makes your luggage stand out against all the other schmucks’ tattered old raggedy bags like a shiny brass luggage tag. The perfect gift for the sophisticated globetrotter who likes to travel in style. Use up to five lines of text to list their name, address, phone number, favorite superhero, spirit animal, most embarrassing moment — whatever they (or you) want to permanently engrave. The most distinguished way to keep the grubby little hands of the unwashed masses off their personal belongings at the airport.
The age-old question is, “Would you even want to know?” Find out a new retiree’s answer to this eternal query by gifting them this watch and observing the look that passes over their face when they realize what it is. It might even give them a goal to shoot for in a phase of life when motivation sometimes runs low.
In classier quarters this might be called a “decanter.” But the built-in stupidity of a decanter is that it’s really just a big glass you’re not allowed to drink out of. You see, in the genteel world of wine, “classy” consists of adding unnecessary steps to what should be a simple process. Of course, bourgeois society has attached all kinds of stigma to drinking straight from the bottle, so some kind of compromise is necessary. And that compromise is right here.
Despite its name, this is not a field guide to the best edible roadkill, but a legitimate book about things you’ll want to eat in different places across this wide and beautiful land. Packed full of hidden gems and insider tips, this book is sure to keep them full and satisfied no matter which direction they strike off.
Once retirement hits, you’ve really got nobody left to impress. This is the time for them to do whatever the hell they feel like, all day every day. That includes eating what they really want to eat. When you retire, so do the food police. And trust us, these baskets are full of what they really want to eat.
What’s the point of moving or traveling if you’re going to do the same things you’ve always done when you get there? Give this anywhere travel guide to someone who’s going away and needs some ideas on how to battle boredom. Cards feature prompts that suggest activities they probably wouldn’t think of if left to their own devices.
Sure, some DIYers like to be hands on, but in your heart of hearts, you know that if you offered to make beer easier, nobody’s going to turn you down. Because turning down easy beer is like turning down free beer - it’s the kind of decision your reputation never quite recovers from. With everything we have to do in a given day just to hold our hectic lives together, being able to push a button and create beer almost seems too good to be true. But it’s not. Good lord, how could life get any better?
This is the old people version of buying them their own pool cue. Like every game of chance, bingo is ruled by the secret and unfathomable rubric of superstition. Using a borrowed dauber is like spitting in the face of the lottery gods. Not a good idea.
Everybody knows that when the time comes, you don’t just leave the prison, you burn it to the ground. Since following that tradition to the letter is actually very illegal, it’s probably better to do it symbolically. The equipment is cheap, but the emotional payoff of this retirement gift is priceless.
The classic party game where everyone either reveals reputation-demolishing secrets about their past or shamelessly lies to save face. Depending on the temperament of the various participants, it can make for an hour or so of good-natured ribbing, or it can devolve into closet doors being flung open to reveal hideous skeletons beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. In other words, it’s rip-roaring fun. But depending on your own personal history, you may want to sit this one out.
How to Pick the Right Retirement Gifts
Buying great retirement gifts for your boss, coworker, mentor, friend, or family member doesn’t have to be a chore. The best way to delight someone who’s about to embark on the grand adventure of retirement is to pick a gift that shows how much you appreciate all the hard work they put in, and that shows some thoughtfulness too.
Retirement signals a massive life change, and different people react to it in different ways. Choosing a meaningful retirement gift is all about showing that you cared enough to buy something that will make their life better after work.
But we know it can be hard. So if you’re trying to come up with personalized retirement gift ideas and you find yourself stumped, check out the lists we’ve put together below. You’ll surely find something that does the trick.
Sentimental Retirement Gifts
Sentimental items can make meaningful gifts if you pull them off the right way. That doesn’t mean you have to try and make them cry, thought that might be fun too. Just dig in to this list and pull out a big ol’ handful of “Aw, shucks.”
Retirement Gifts to Keep Them Busy
After being told what to do for years and years, retirement can be disorienting. Help them find their bearings again with these unique gift ideas perfect for retiring men or women.
- Scratch-Off Bucket List
- 101 Fun Things to Do in Retirement
- Gym Membership
- Movie Theater Gift Card
- Museum Membership
- Swim Club Membership
- Book of the Month Club
- Bingo Dauber
Funny Retirement Gifts
Funny gifts are a great choice for that coworker you shared a few guffaws with over the years. They also make great parting gifts for the boss you banged heads with, just to show there’s no hard feelings (now that you won’t have to look at their stupid face anymore). It’s always better to go out with a laugh, so have at ‘er.
Travel & Relaxation Gifts
Retirement is a great time to do all the things they wanted to do for the last several decades but couldn’t because they were shackled by the loving arms of capitalism. Here is a quick list of gifts that will help them undo a lifetime of stress and responsibility.