17 Rewarding Retirement Gift Ideas

rewarding retirement gift ideasRetiring from decades of work in a career feels bittersweet for many employees. They’ve spent years in a particular routine, doing particular tasks. Suddenly, they won’t be doing that anymore! Some will look forward to their retirement, and others might feel anxious about what’s to come. Either way, they deserve to be rewarded and celebrated for their countless hours and days spent at their job, plus reaching their goal of retiring. It’s an amazing accomplishment!

Whether they’re your coworker, family member, spouse or close friend, they deserve a unique personalized gift to celebrate their new lease on life. Personalized gifts are just that–items and mementos that have personal value and meaning. The recipient will be able to tell they’re loved just by looking at the item. They’ll remember who gave it to them and what the meaning was behind it, all because it’s personalized just for them.

Because there are so many gifts you can give someone who’s retiring, we’ve carefully created these categories of gift ideas. We know you’ll find the perfect gift!

personalized first christmas retired ornament


Retirement Gifts for Your Coworker

Your relationship with your coworker is an interesting one, right? You’ve probably spent more hours together than you expected, going over projects, meeting deadlines and sitting in meetings. Or, maybe you didn’t work much with this particular coworker, but you two always jammed it out on the karaoke machine at the office Christmas party. Either way, you’ve signed the office retirement card, but you still want to get a little something extra for your coworker. Here are some of our favorite retirement gifts for your coworker! retirement gifts for coworker

  • A bouquet of fresh flowers: If you’re not the closest with your retiring coworker (i.e., you don’t get lunch in the cafeteria every day), then a simple bouquet of fresh flowers will be perfect for their retirement. Talk with your local florist about what flowers convey “well wishes” and other positive messages. They’ll craft a beautiful bouquet perfect for your coworker. You can either pick it up and give it to your coworker yourself, or have the florist deliver it. Make sure there’s a mix of colors and greenery!
  • A retirement pot for their plant: Chances are they had a plant or two around their desk, so why not get them a pot for it to go in while at home? It’ll be a sweet way for them to bring all their great memories from work to their home. Whether they place it on their mantel or on their dining room table, it’ll serve as a unique memory of all their days at work.
  • A keepsake: One of our favorite personalized retirement gifts includes our acrylic keepsakes! They can place them on bookshelves, use them as paperweights or place them in the china cabinet for safekeeping. You and your coworkers can pool your funds and get a large keepsake personalized with your retiring coworker’s name, years working there and retirement date! Don’t forget a fun phrase to have etched into the keepsake. If you and your coworkers just can’t seem to settle on the right phrase to use, we have a variety of options available!

Retirement Gifts for Your Parents

Growing up, you probably remember mom and dad heading to work. Dressed in their uniform and coffee in hand, maybe they dropped you off at school or handmade your lunch every morning before you got on the bus. When it’s time for them to retire, you get the opportunity to tell them thank you for all their sacrifice and hard work! Chances are their dedication to work helped put you through school, buy a house or get a car. Even if not, the chapter of their work-life is ending, so it’s important you get them something to commemorate it! Here are some of our favorite gifts to give your parents at their retirement. retirement gifts for parents

  • Dinner at a luxury steakhouse: Give your parents a night of luxury with a gift card to dinner at a local luxury steakhouse! If they worked long and hectic work schedules, there’s a chance they didn’t get to do much fine dining during their working years. They’ll love the chance to dine together at a luxury steakhouse, filled with soft lighting, smooth jazz and classy cocktails. Perfect for your hard-working parents!
  • A cheese knife set: Now that your parents have nights, weekends and even weekdays free, they’ll need to learn a new hobby! Why not learn the art of charcuterie board displays? Give your parents a set of cheese knives to use as a fun addition to their cheese plates! Whether they’re hosting friends over for an intimate weeknight dinner party or they’re the hosts of your annual Christmas Eve dinner, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness about their life post-retirement. 
  • A funny retirement t-shirt: If your parents are also grandparents, then why not get them a funny retirement t-shirt that is also about their grandchildren? Our vast selection of retirement t-shirts are perfect for your parents to wear around the house, on vacations or while spending time with the grandkids! Now that they no longer need to wear a uniform for eight hours a day, they’ll love having t-shirts to choose from. 
  • A golf club set: We know it’s a stereotype, but let’s be real–your retired parents will probably do a lot of golfing now that they have their days free! Get them a unique golf club set that can go with them to every session. Pro tip: Go for matching ones! Your parents will look like they’re straight out of a golfing magazine spread with their matching golf club sets. 
  • Something for the garden: If they’re not golfing, then there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to dedicate more time to their yard! They finally get the time to spend outside cultivating their garden, whether it’s harvesting fruits and vegetables to use in their cooking or planting fresh flowers and greenery to grow and increase their curb appeal. They’ll need some decor for their garden! Our fun personalized garden flags come in a variety of designs that are perfect for every house. A garden flag can welcome guests, commemorate important occasions or show support for home states and sports teams! It’s like a wall sign, but for your backyard. Your retired parents will love to have something to spruce up their garden. 

Retirement Gifts for Your Friend

Friends are the family we choose, and their retirement is special! Whether you met at work, school or just at a local coffee shop, having a friend reach retirement is an important milestone in your friendship, especially if you’re retiring together! This probably means more vacations, nights out on the town or even just days spent lounging by the community pool. Either way, there are lots of gifts you can give your recently retired friend to celebrate their hard work and this new chapter in their life. Here are some of our favorite retirement gifts to give a friend! retirement gifts for friends

  • A recipe box: Now that they’re home more, they will probably be cooking more meals at home. Gone are their days of grabbing something in the drive-thru after a long shift at work. Now, they can stand in their kitchen and bask in all that is cooking. A recipe box is great for them because they can keep track of all their recipes and pass them down to kids and grandkids alike! While many people are keeping track of their recipes on websites, there’s just something about reading the cooking or baking directions off a piece of paper that is unmatched. You don’t have to worry about the screen going dark or ads popping up on the screen. There are lots of good reasons to enjoy cooking with a paper recipe–plus, you can make notes or adjustments right there on the page! If your friend already has a love for cooking, they might have an older recipe box already filled with lots of great recipes. Giving them a new one will let them transfer their recipes or split them between both to make it easier to find what they’re looking for. Either way, it’s a great gift!
  • A photo frame: A photo frame announcing their retirement is a great gift to give. Make sure you include a photo of the two of you when you give it to them! Don’t forget a sweet card with a handwritten note commemorating them on their retirement. For an elevated look, go with a glass photo frame. The etched personalization always looks much more luxurious!
  • A book subscription: Now that they have the time, why not give them a book subscription? They’ll love to get a new book to read every month. Plus, it will challenge them to complete a fresh read every 30 days! You can even start a book club with your other friends, reading each of the books in the subscription and meeting to talk about them. It’s perfect if all of you are retiring around the same time! Rotate meetings at each other’s houses once a week, and switch off who’s bringing the wine and snacks!
  • A weekend getaway: What better way to celebrate your friend’s retirement than by going on a vacation? Take a weekend and go to a nice cabin in the mountains, or rent a top-floor apartment in the city for a special treat. Visit museums, attend an opera and eat at all the best local establishments. They’ll have a blast–and so will you!

Retirement Gifts for Your Spouse

When your spouse retires, it’s a great feeling. You’ll both get to spend more time together! It’ll be easier to go out on dinner dates, see the kids and grandkids and get things done around the house. Here are some of our favorite retirement gifts you can give your spouse! retirement gifts for your spouse

  • A commemorative piece of jewelry: Jewelry is always such a romantic gift. Give your spouse a commemorative piece of jewelry to celebrate their retirement! A watch with a sweet phrase engraved on the inside is perfect. You could also have the date of their retirement engraved on it! That way, they’ll always remember the purpose of the gift when they go to put their watch on. 
  • A set of personalized drinkware: Now’s the time to celebrate, so why not do it with some personalized drinkware? Give your retired spouse something special to drink out of. After all, the party’s for them! Make sure to give them a personalized beer mug since they’ll be going around giving everyone at the party hugs and you don’t want them to lose their drink! The best part about personalized drinkware is that it can be used even after the retirement party. Every time they pick up that mug or glass, they’ll think of their retirement and how excited you were for them!
  • A monogrammed duffel bag: You’re probably going to go on more trips now that your spouse has retired, so they’ll need something to put their clothes in! Move away from the standard luggage and get them a monogrammed duffel bag! It’s perfect for short weekend trips, to use as a carry-on for plane rides or take on camping trips. Make sure it has a variety of pockets that will keep their items organized. Then, get additional matching pieces so you can both travel on post-retirement trips in style!
  • A welcome mat: Whether you place it at your front door or the door to their office, a welcome mat that announces their retirement is perfect, especially if you’re both retiring around the same time. Welcome guests to your “retirement home” with a simple mat right outside the door! It’s such a unique way to announce your retirement for all your guests, family and friends. You’ve retired, so be excited about it!
  • A funny glass keepsake: Ever heard the phrase, “A husband’s retirement is a wife’s full-time job”? Well, we loved it so much we put it on a keepsake! Funny phrases are how we make it through life, and including them in retirement gifts is a great idea! Retiring can be bittersweet for many people, but having some humor around is a great way to keep spirits light. 
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