Retirement Gift Ideas

Some people approach retirement with great anticipation and look forward to it as a wonderful adventure while others dread the idea of the drastic change in their routine. When you have friends who are nearing that last day of regular employment, you can help with that step into retirement by giving them thoughtful personal gifts.

retirement gift ideasIf the retiring people are co-workers, make special albums containing photos that have been taken through the years and feature them and their fellow employees. Contact as many of their present and former co-workers as you can, and ask them to write a personal note or remembrance to include in the books. Decorate the books in a manner that will be pleasing to the recipients.

When you have their names engraved on the gifts that you choose, it adds a personal touch that the retirees will appreciate. A watch or clock engraved with their names and the date makes a memorable gift.

When your friends are apprehensive about leaving the structured environment of 9 to 5 jobs, give them something to pique their interest in several activities that they might enjoy.


Now is the time to visit those places they have only heard about before. They can travel abroad or just around their home state and have a wonderful time, make new friends, learn new things and see marvelous sights. You can give them a good start on their journey with an appropriate gift.

  • Book listing attractions at various vacation spots
  • Book with pictures of fabulous scenery to help them plan some travel destinations
  • Digital camera
  • Luggage
  • Personalized passport holder
  • Stationery and stamps
  • Gift certificate for a travel agency or a bus tour
  • Travel size toiletries


Many people like to bring some of the comforts of home with them when they travel. When they have an RV or camper, they can keep it supplied with the necessities, so they do not need to spend much time packing when they decide to go off on another jaunt. If your friends travel this way, you can probably think of many items that they would like.

  • Road atlas
  • Map of camping sites and information
  • Paper plates, cups, plastic utensils, napkins, paper towels and other items to make after meal clean-up easier
  • Plastic containers for storing leftovers in the RV refrigerator
  • Microwave safe cookware
  • Camping gear of all kinds
  • Solar charged lantern, flashlight or radio
  • Car adapter for charging cell phones, cameras and computers
  • Sleeping bags and air mattress
  • Extra blankets and pillows


Whether your friends like to bicycle or ride motorcycles, there are some gift ideas for both kinds of cycling.

  • Biking gloves
  • Heated gloves for winter weather
  • Leather jacket
  • Riding goggles
  • Saddle bags
  • Water bottles and holders
  • Backpack


Your friends may enjoy a beautiful yard but have not had the time to tend it. Now they will have the time to devote to beautifying their environment and trying some different plants and flowers. Perhaps they would enjoy growing vegetables and herbs in their own garden and savor the taste of produce that they can eat fresh on the same day as they pick it. Visit a garden center or shop online for ideas to please your retiree.

  • Sturdy garden tools like a bulb planter, transplanting spade, hoe or rake
  • Knee pads or a cushioned kneeling pad
  • Short stool so they do not have to kneel in the dirt
  • Basket to hold small garden tools and facilitate moving them from place to place
  • Hat with wide brim to shade from the sun
  • Sunglasses
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Gardening books
  • Landscaping books


If your friends like to cook and eat good food, they may enjoy spending more time in the kitchen after they are retired. There are numerous gadgets to help novice or experienced chefs as they create tasty meals. Your gift should reflect the recipients’ personalities and tastes. If they love gourmet food, make your gift appropriate for that type of dining. When their style is more casual, they would probably prefer something like barbeque equipment.

  • Specialty cook books: gourmet, ethnic, diet or outdoor cooking for example
  • Gift certificate for cooking classes
  • Bread machine, espresso machine
  • Steamer
  • Chopper
  • Grill tools
  • Saltcellar and pepper mill
  • Can opener
  • Timer
  • Corn zipper
  • Blender
  • Various gadgets to make cooking easier


People who love to read never seem to have enough time to devote to that pastime, but after retirement, they can indulge in that activity more frequently. Of course, the obvious gift is a book, but there are some items that may help to make their reading time more enjoyable.

  • Reading lamp
  • Book light
  • Full page magnifier
  • Ergonomic book holder
  • Lap desk
  • Reading pillow
  • Book ends
  • Bookmarks
  • Fabric book covers
  • Book bag or tote
  • Highlighters

Home Improvement

Retired homeowners may have been waiting to have enough time to tackle various projects in or around their homes, and there are always some tools to make the chores easier. If you know what type of projects they have in mind, you can give them some appropriate items that will be practical and useful.

  • Gift certificate for their favorite hardware store
  • Personalized high quality hammer or specialty tools
  • Carpenter’s apron
  • Work gloves
  • Gift certificate for a nursery or lawn and garden center
  • Landscaping rock
  • Birdbath, trellis, archway, waterfall, chiminea or fire pit
  • Solar powered landscaping lights


Many people enjoy using their creativity by putting together unique scrapbooks, and there are many supplies that you can give them for that hobby.

  • Special scrapbook
  • Refill pages
  • Pens and markers
  • Stencils
  • Rubber stamps
  • Adhesives
  • Glitter
  • Punches
  • Scissors


When your friends enjoy walking or running, they will appreciate something that will help them to keep in shape.

  • Jogging suit
  • Gift certificate for running shoes
  • YMCA, gym or fitness club membership
  • Portable CD player or radio to accompany them on their walks
  • Set of weights appropriate for their degree of fitness
  • Season pass for their local swimming pool


Did your friends always want to write, paint, play a musical instrument or dance? Give them a gift certificate for classes to learn something new and interesting, and you will be opening up a new dimension in their lives. Depending on what their interests are, you will find some appropriate gifts to accompany the gift certificate.


  • Nice set of pens and pencils
  • Journal
  • Package of lined writing paper
  • Laptop computer
  • Thesaurus
  • Dictionary


  • Art supplies
  • Paints and brushes
  • Pens and pencils
  • Easel
  • Canvas


  • Sheet music
  • Gift certificate for a music store


  • Ballet or tap dancing shoes
  • Tights

There are many gifts that retirees will appreciate, and when you give them something uniquely suited to them, they will be impressed by your thoughtfulness and remember you each time they use the gifts that you gave them.

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