If you’ve been browsing the web for the best retirement gift ideas for coworkers and you’ve landed on this blog post, you’ve come to the right place. Here are twelve foolproof gift ideas to turn your retiree’s last day of work from what could be a maudlin occasion into a celebration and to remind them that when they retire, enjoying life is their new job!
Take Them Out to Lunch or Dinner
Gather your retiree’s work friends and colleagues together for a meal and raise a glass to your co-worker or employee on their last day. This can be an emotional time, even if they are ready and have been looking forward to retirement. Express your genuine appreciation for the work they’ve done but keep it light, share some funny remembrances and emphasize that retirement is an opportunity for new beginnings and experiences.
Create A Book of Memories
Send an email around to all your retiree’s co-workers and friends and family you know and ask them for any photos, group shots or special work memories they have about the retiree. Funny stories, experiences, birthday and holiday parties, it’s not hard to pull together a compilation of visual and written remembrances. Collect these snapshots of a work life in a custom photo book. A book like this can easily be made in iPhoto with a super-easy tutorial and a few clicks on a Mac. When you’re finished, Apple will send you a beautiful, finished, hardbound book of these memories for around $50.00. A very inexpensive but impressive and incredibly thoughtful and personalized gift for your retiree from the whole group.
Retirement gives ample opportunities for ‘kick back and relax’ time. There aren’t many better places to do that than in a spa. A gift certificate to a local spa, for at least an hour, a day or a weekend can give a much-needed boost to your retiree. It’s amazing what a massage or a soothing facial can do to revitalize the body and mind.
iPad with New Music, Interesting Podcasts, or a Few Good Books
Unless your retiree is the type of person that already has the latest version of every new gadget, it’s a pretty safe bet that an iPad or similar type tablet will be a big hit. You probably have a pretty good idea of your retiree’s general interests. Pre-load a device with some podcasts, music, tv shows or books tailored to their favorite topics and give them a head start at those recreational pursuits they didn’t have time for with their full-time job. Maybe it’s learning Japanese, reading the complete works of Shakespeare or finally binge-watching all five seasons of The Wire.
“I’m just too tired to go the gym after work” is harder to say when you have more time on your hands. More free time means more “me time” so a great gift for a retiree is a membership to a gym, yoga studio or racquet club to keep them healthy for years to come. A membership to a local gym with a pool with aquatics exercise classes can be particularly beneficial. Water aerobics is a great cardiovascular workout with low-impact on the joints and can help reduce the risk of circulatory problems as we age.
Museum Membership, Film Passes, Concert Tickets
Many retirees renew their appreciation for the arts with their newfound leisure time. There are many events at museums and cultural institutions that have been previously unattainable because of work restraints. Now that free time is no longer a luxury but a daily reality, why not give your retiree a membership to a local museum where he or she can stroll through a gallery on a rainy mid-morning or enjoy an afternoon music recital? Is your retiree a film buff? A generous gift certificate to an online movie-ticketing website like Fandango or a bunch of tickets to their local art house cinema would be a fine gift for a retiree.
Wine, Chocolate, and Roses
It’s time for some decadence and indulgence after years of diligent work put forth by your retiree. Give a retirement gift of wine, chocolate, and roses, a three-part appreciation for all the hard work they’ve done. Send a bottle of wine to toast the past and raise a glass to tomorrow, handmade chocolates to signify the sweetest future of new beginnings and an exquisite floral bouquet to remind them to, yes, stop and smell the roses once in a while and appreciate the beauty of life ahead.
A few Powerball tickets are by no means a suitable retirement gift alone, but can be a fun little addition to another more thoughtful gift of your choosing. Sure, the odds are terrible, but somebody always wins!
Home Delivery of New York Times or Newspaper of Choice
We all find a few hasty moments here and there in our hectic work days to log onto the New York Times or Washington Post, etc. to see what’s happening in the world. Why not gift your retiree with a subscription to the NYT delivered to their door? A home delivery lets your retiree keep up with world events while allowing them the opportunity to linger over the crossword puzzle and the Op-Ed page with their morning coffee. What they might not have had time for before can now become a daily indulgence. The NYT is often referred to as “The Old Grey Lady” but we’ll leave suggestions for retirement jokes up to you.
When you’re having some hesitation about what to gift your retiree, go fruit basket, and don’t look back. A fruit basket hits the universal sweet spot of gift giving. As we’ve said before on the blog, we can’t think of any other gift that is both suitable for a business colleague as well as a dearest relative. It’s basically a no-brainer, home-run of a gift choice and many people come to our website when they need a retirement gift. A very popular Manhattan Fruitier retirement gift is the Congratulations Gift Basket collection.
Robe and Slippers
A gift of a robe and slippers is a little on the nose as far as retirement gifts go but it’s the ultimate retirement gag gift your retiree can actually use. A fine quality robe and slippers are always appreciated. Just be sure to let your retiree recipient know you want them to rest easy after busy days of new experiences.
One great benefit to retirement is no more bag lunches! Retirement brings an opportunity for more time to cook and experiment in the kitchen again, especially if your retiree is a foodie. A gift of new cookbooks exploring different cuisines of the world will be a much-appreciated retirement gift that can inspire great meals in the kitchen. Meals that may have a more advanced skill set or require more time than a busy work schedule allowed them previously.
If you know your retiree will be devoting time to travel, a great cookbook may even inform a future trip to an exotic locale that wasn’t on their radar before. Perhaps along with the cookbook, you can suggest – or spring for if you’re really close — an experiential travel itinerary that combines beautiful locales with cooking classes exploring a country’s regional cuisines. Morocco, Mexico City, Portugal, and of course Italy and France, are all particularly well known for esteemed cooking schools that combine education, relaxation and decadent gustation.
We hope one of these farewell gift ideas make finding a perfect one just a little bit easier and maybe even make your retiree’s last day of work extra memorable. Retirement closes a door but can open many others. So, make it an occasion to celebrate!