Best Retirement Gift Ideas

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The Best Retirement Gifts for a Coworker

So, your company is throwing a retirement party for a colleague of yours. And you’re sitting here not having a clue what to get them. Should you get them anything? Why is a retirement gift important anyway? 

Retirement is a huge deal for everyone going through it. When your coworker retires, their whole life changes. While it can be exciting to start a new (perhaps last) chapter of your life, the drastic change can be daunting for some. Some can’t wait to have no more professional responsibilities. On the other hand, some may find the sudden jump in the amount of free time overwhelming.

However, they can’t avoid it. And, as a colleague of theirs, you should do your best to make their last day in office a memorable one. However, we can see you’re struggling with ideas. Don’t worry. We’ll help find out how to choose the right retirement gift for a coworker. Before we talk about retirement gift ideas, let’s see why you’re getting a gift in the first place.

Why a Retirement Gift Is Important

When you think about it, your coworkers are people you spend most of your time with. You spend eight hours a day, five times a week with them, regardless of whether you like them or not. Since we’re talking about a colleague that’s going to retire, they’ve probably been in the company longer than you have.

A retirement gift could (and should) be your way of expressing your appreciation. For instance, if they helped you learn the ropes when you arrived, you’d want to show them you remember that. Now, obviously, it could be someone you barely know and have barely any contact with. In that case, you don’t have to go through their bucket list or buy them an expensive bottle of wine. Still, a thoughtful retirement card would still mean a lot to them as they’re going through an important day in their life.

Choosing the Right Gift

When getting a retirement gift, it’s much more about the thought that goes into it than the financial aspect of it. It doesn’t have to be a several-hundred-dollar item, as they’ll appreciate a meaningful gift much more. So, talking about money, people usually spend $10-$100 on average. If you’re a boss, you should go somewhere between $100-$1,000. Then, you need to consider the tone of your present. A funny retirement gift can be great if you and the colleague have a matching sense of humor. But, if you insert a gag gift (a sex toy, for instance) into women’s retirement gift baskets, they might not appreciate it.

Another thing to consider is how close you were to the coworker on a personal level. Again, as we’ve said, it’s the thought that counts. If you know something that’s dear to them, or there’s an item they’ve wanted for a while, that would be your perfect gift. Is there a book they’ve been harping on about? Do you know they love crochet? Okay, nobody loves crochet, but you get the idea.

Furthermore, you can get an idea from their plans for the future. Have you ever talked with them about what they intend to do? For some, retirements represent a chance to sit home and babysit their grandkids. Others might want to travel out and clear their bucket list. If you know about a dream vacation of theirs, you might chip in with the rest and get them a group gift. See these top retirement gifts.

Great Gift Ideas

So far, we’ve covered why you should get them a gift and how you should go about it. Now, let’s get specific. We’ve selected some of the great retirement gifts to a coworker you can get. As you go through them, make sure they check all the points you’ve made during the previous part (i.e., does it suit your relationship, is it funny, is it meaningful, etc.).

The first one comes in the shape of a travel book. In 2017, National Geographic published “50 States, 5000 Ideas.” The book’s become one of the most popular retirement gifts in the United States. Obviously, this gift is perfect for someone who intends to spend their free time traveling around the country. If they see their retirement as an uninterrupted staycation, the book will end up being a coffee saucer.

If they’re about to have a quiet retirement, there are great gifts for that as well. For instance, you can buy them a hammock so they can literally just swing around and do nothing. If they have a garden, a gardening set wouldn’t be a bad shout either.

Moving on, you can get them something to remember you (and other colleagues) by. A framed and signed picture with your team goes great with a nicely-decorated jar of personalized messages.

You should also consider alcohol. After all, they’re going into retirement. If they’re wine aficionados, you can get them a basket with wine glasses and their favorite brand of wine. If they’re more into beer, a gift card to their favorite craft beer can be perfect as well.

Giving Away Laughs

They might be getting old, but that doesn’t mean they’ve broken their funny bone. Joke gifts are perhaps the most common when it comes to retirement gifts. For instance, a coffee mug with a funny caption is an option, although it might seem thoughtless and overdone. Other stuff you can do include out of business cards, day clocks (showing only days, not hours), or a book like “How Not to Become a Crotchety Old Man.” See why laughter is the best medicine.

As you can see, these presents will probably get a chuckle out of them when they see it, but they rarely have a practical value. Ideally, you’d want them to be a side piece when you’ve bought the main thing and still have a few dollars running spare.

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