Gifts for Retirement

Not A Carriage Clock, Per-leeze!

The traditional retirement gift of a clock might seem a safe option, but let's be honest here - it's also mega-boring. When a person reaches that phase of life when at last they're free (to a much greater degree than ever before) of the tyranny of time-watching, is the gift of a clock really appropriate?

I think not!

Equally, retirement from work does not mean retirement from life. On the contrary. It is often the case that it's only upon reaching retirement that a person can fully indulge in the hobby they've perhaps always wanted to pursue, or to take up an interest which they've never had the opportunity for previously.

People who've had little time for anything outside of work can find the prospect of retirement very daunting. They've been too busy to build social networks outside of their business world. But help is at hand.

This Hubpage aims to present a variety of ideas for retirement gifts which may be practical, innovative or imaginative.

Money!

Retirement usually means a change of income. Each country has its own laws and customs regarding pension schemes and investments, and these are way too complicated to go into in any detail here.

However, how about giving the gift of a consultation with a reputable financial advisor? This may seem an unconventional gift but I challenge anyone to say it's not useful.

There are many books lwhich offer financial advice for retired people, and it goes without saying that the more information a person can arm themselves with, the less likely they are to run into problems.

These-days, if a person retires at the age of sixty-seven (which many employees now do here in the UK) they can expect to live on their pension for thirty or more years. And life-expectancy is rising exponentially with improvements in medicine and related sciences. A sensible, well-informed financial plan is vital if the Golden Years are to be enjoyed as thoroughly as possible.

Health!

A long and enjoyable old age requires good health. Attention to dietary needs is important throughout life, of course, but as the body ages its nutritional needs change. Some people find the absorption of essential minerals and trace elements more difficult as the years go by.

The gift of a thorough health check may seem odd - and perhaps not acceptable if the gift is for a work colleague - but it is undeniably useful.

Alternatively, the gift of membership to a gymnasium, sports or health club is unlikely to offend. Many such places offer introductory or one-month-only memberships which would work well as a gift. Swimming pools sometimes offer classes specifically for the over 60's.

A weekend break at a health spa is a lovely idea, also; or if the budget won't stretch to that, look for a quality hair salon which sells or accepts gift vouchers.

Some scientists, such as the SENS Foundation, strongly believe that the negative health effects of old age will be treated like any other disease in the near future. Most agree that an active mind and body can have a huge effect on happiness and longevity.

One of Spooky Cute Designs' many exclusive products (see link below.)
One of Spooky Cute Designs' many exclusive products (see link below.)

Life is for Living!

When fixed routines no longer dominate the day, some people can feel at a loose end. Now is the time to join clubs, try out new hobbies, take a class to develop an interest - to get out of the house, create new social networks and keep active.

Maybe you might consider giving the gift of an activity break, the kind where a person gets the chance to try out a variety of crafts, interests or sporting recreations. Activity breaks are very useful for people who've been too wrapped up in their job to find time to develop leisure interests.

Others may prefer a more academic challenge, and take a university degree or learn a new language, for example. Keeping the mind active is a vital part of staving off real old age.

Or you might introduce them to a tai chi, swimming, golf or a social club, or offer the gift of a college course. There are a huge number of courses available now, and many colleges offer discounts for the over 50's. Some are even free.

Dance is fabulous exercise for any age, and you're never too old to have fun. Ballroom classes are the 'in' thing at the moment, or maybe salsa or ballet is more your style. Many of these classes are aimed at the elderly - yes, even ballet!

Get Active in Your Community!

Voluntary work can bring a fresh lease of life to people who, though retired from their main work, aren't ready or willing to sit at home. There is a huge range of voluntary work available, whether it be in charity shops, in hospitals or for community organisations such as the Scouts or Guides, Age Concern or The Citizens Advice Bureau. Other ideas include gardening, helping out at special events, becoming a companion for the housebound or helping to make speaking newspapers for the partially sighted or blind.

Contact local voluntary groups for more details.

Family History

How about making a scrapbook which chronicles the history of your family? There is much more to scrapbooking than just sticking stuff onto cheap paper. Contemporary ideas about this craft are much more lively and creative! Visit your library to discover fresh ideas about this re-vamped hobby, which can be a fun and also an economical hobby. Gifts of craft papers, ribbons, borders, or of a computer program which enables digital scrapbooking are worth considering.

You could ask each family member to contribute a page about themselves. This could include photos, stories, sketches, postcards, old letters, fabric from special outfits - the choice is up to each individual. The resulting scrapbook could then become something of a family heirloom, which would make a lovely gift in itself.

Some people develop an interest in family history in a more serious way, and start a thorough study of their genealogy. Joining a local family history group is a good way of learning how to go about researching facts properly, and it's a way of meeting new people who share a similar interest. The gift of a year's membership would be welcomed by someone interested in this.

One of Spooky Cute Designs many products - a great gift idea for senior citizens!
One of Spooky Cute Designs many products - a great gift idea for senior citizens!

© 2010 Adele Cosgrove-Bray

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