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Choosing A Retirement Present

Updated on August 28, 2013

If you know someone who is retiring – be it a friend, family member or work colleague – you will know doubt want to get them something special to mark the occasion for them. After all, most people work for at least 40 years, which is a significant achievement and something to be celebrating. And of course, they are also celebrating the fact that they can now take some time to relax, enjoy their new-found free time and do some of the things they’ve always wanted to do. If you’re struggling to think of something suitable to buy them, here are some ideas to get you started:

Crystal Glass: If you want to splash out on something really special, get them some crystal glass. This is a luxury item – something people tend to keep for ‘best’ and would often consider too extravagant to buy for themselves. This is what makes it an idea present for a special occasion. Another bonus is that there are so many products to choose from – you can go for crystal champagne flutes, wine glasses, perfume bottles or decanters, for example. If you want to make the present extra meaningful you can even get the crystal engraved with the person’s name and date or retirement, and buy it in a presentation set.

Buy Them A Course: For most people their retirement is something to look forward to – a chance to finally unwind a little and spend more time on their hobbies. But for some people, going from working full time to having endless amounts of free time can require some adjustment. If your family member of colleague has been very career focused and you think they may find retirement quite a shock at first, why not enrol them on a course to give them something new to learn, focus on and enjoy? This could be anything from cookery to wine tasting or learning a new language.

A Holiday: If you want to be a bit extravagant (or perhaps club in with other people), booking the person on a holiday with a friend or partner is a fantastic gift idea. Perhaps you could choose a cruise, a long weekend city break or even just a few days in the country. Sometimes this kind of present is better for people who already have a lot of possessions and don’t want any more, but would enjoy an experience. Bear in mind also that some people (although not all) will look to downsize their houses after they retire and will therefore be getting rid of things rather than accumulating more objects.

Pamper Day: After decades of work, most people would welcome the chance to be spoiled and pampered a little. Booking somebody into a spa for a day could be just what they need. Here they can be massaged, have facials, relax in the sauna or do whatever they want to help them unwind and reflect on what they want to do with the next stage of their lives.

Flowers or Plants: If you can’t afford something extravagant, then a beautiful flower arrangement will always go down well. Or better still, buy them a tree or a sturdy plant - something that will grow over the years and be a reminder of the person who gave it to them. This is a particularly good present for those who spend a lot of time in their garden as they will enjoy tending to it as well as having something attractive to look at.

Framed Photograph: If it’s a work colleague who’s retiring, having a photograph taken of their entire team and putting it in a nice frame is a very good idea. It doesn’t cost much but it’s something personal that will serve as a reminder of their time at work.

Hobby-Related Gifts: This is another way of getting something more personal. Everyone has a hobby of some kind, whether it’s gardening, quilting, writing, reading or walking, so a present based around this will always be welcome. This is particularly true of somebody who now has an awful lot more time to spend on their hobbies. If they like gardening, for example, you could get them some plants or some nice new tools.

Really Stuck: If you get really stuck about what to get someone then everyone will appreciate cash or you can make an arrangement with a retail shop such as a jewellery shop and provide the person retiring with a letter of honoring a purchase from their store by the company up to a certain value. This way you know some sort of gift is going to be bought, but the person retiring is able to choose something of their liking and may even be happy to add to the purchase cost to get something really special.

And Finally - whatever the gift you do choose do make sure that the presentation is done with decorum and planning. Some planning is important, so consider decorating a room and that an interesting speech is prepared. If you as the line manager don’t have the confidence to give a rousing farewell speech then ask one of the retiree’s colleagues who probably would have a more personal working relationship and so make the farewell speech something memorable and personable. You as the line manager can then step in at the end with a few words to then complete the proceedings with the handing over of the cards and gifts.


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