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Retirement is a milestone that should be celebrated properly. Many people mark this momentous event with a party to signal the end of one chapter in their lives and the beginning of another.

When you go to any party, it's always nice to bring along a little gift for the guest of honor. A retirement party is no different. But what do you give? If you're stumped, take a look at these retirement gift ideas for some inspiration.

Most Traditional Gift

If you're looking to go the classic and traditional route it doesn't get much better than the gold pocket watch. This is a classic gift because it is supposed to symbolize the time the person has spent working. The passage of time is not only literal but figurative. If you don't want to go with the pocket watch, a standard watch or clock can also carry the same significance.

Memento Gifts

Many times when people retire it is from professions that they have spent years working. A memento gift related to that field also makes a wonderful retirement gift. This can be in the form of:

  1. A plaque recognizing their years of service or any major accomplishment
  2. A special pen that was used for office work
  3. For teachers, a specific book that carries meaning for that individual
  4. Preserving a special item from their years of service (this can be bronzed or in a shadow box for display)

Hobby-Related Gifts

When people retire they will likely have more time for their hobbies. A retirement gift that relates to a person's hobbies is another good idea. Here are some options:

  1. Fishing pole
  2. New sneakers
  3. Knitting equipment
  4. Books or gift card to a book store
  5. Golf clubs
  6. Tennis lessons or equipment
  7. Cooking lessons or equipment

Travel-Related Gifts

Travel is often on the retirement itinerary for many people. Retirement gives people time to travel that may have never had before. If you know this to be the case, buy a gift that can be used on their journey.

  1. Beach bag with beach items (suntan lotion, hat, sandals, towel, etc.)
  2. Luggage
  3. Guide books to a particular destination
  4. Special clothing for the trip (if they're going to a foreign country)

Tickets to a Special Event

If you know the person you're buying a gift for likes to go to the theater or to other performances, buying tickets to a special event is always a nice idea. It gives the recipient something to look forward to during their newly acquired free time. Many people like to purchase these gifts if they're into giving experiences rather than regular presents.

Personalized Gifts

You can get personal with gifts that have the recipient's name on them. This can be anything from a special glass or dish to a shirt or a frame. Photo books and memory books also make good personalized gifts.

Vintage Wine or Cigars

This gift only works if you know the person particularly likes either vintage wine or cigars. There are many cigar and wine aficionados who would absolutely love either of these gifts. Depending on what item you choose this gift can get costly, so this could be a gift several people chip in on to buy.

Gift Cards

When all else fails, you can never go wrong with a gift card. While some may say it's impersonal, it's a practical gift that will get used. This is also a gift that can be given by multiple people to increase the value. If ten people in the office contribute $20 you can give a sizable $200 gift card to your favorite retiree. Not too shabby!

When it comes to retirement gift ideas, remember it's always the thought that counts. Many people are so excited to actually be retiring that they consider that the best gift of all. Everything else is an added bonus!

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt