Retirement is a big step, the culmination of a lifetime’s work, and should be celebrated with the solemnity that it deserves. Retirement gifts, while they can be humorous, should also be a reflection of the occasion, an acknowledgement that the retiree’s contribution to the business has been an important one. Choosing too comical a gift could mean that the person feels that the celebration of their hard work is something of a joke to the rest of the staff, and could result in hurt feelings and an unpleasant end to a working life. The same applies to an obviously last-minute or cheap gift, while it is true that it is the thought that counts, a lack of thought can be obvious and make the recipient feel as though they are not valued by the company that they have dedicated their working life to.
The ideal retirement gift would be something personalised, uniquely memorable to the recipient, and, if possible, paying homage to the job or the retiree’s position. This would be a true memento, fondly reminding them of the job every time they look at it. However, these items are quite hard to find and can be expensive and time-consuming to locate or have made. There are other options that show a great deal of care and consideration has gone into choosing the gift; here are some ideas:
A wine subscription is a great gift. They usually offer a choice of three to five wines per month, ranging from dry to sweet, red to white, local Australian wines to international favourites, and everything in between. The subscription will usually be for a year, and each delivery is sure to bring a smile to the face of the retiree as the gift allows them to indulge their love of fine wines and think affectionately of the company with every glass. At the end of the subscription, they can choose to renew, or simply let it lapse.
Get a photograph of them, and have a caricaturist or artist create a portrait of them, with colleagues or in their work-space. Once complete, have it professionally framed and captioned so they have a permanent reminder of their time at work that they can place in the most suitable place in their home.
A Kindle or an e-reader is a great idea for readers. If you know the person is into books, you can help them to get into retirement mode by catching up with all those books he or she has been meaning to get around to reading! Some e-readers come with free trial periods which will give the newly at-leisure person access to plenty of books for no outlay. You can even include a subscription to one of the many e-book vendors, to be sure that they have plenty to read for many months to come.
In the months before the retirement, chat with the recipient and find out if there are any hobbies or activities that they are looking forward to trying out once they have the time to indulge themselves. There are a great range of hobby kits on the market, for everything from painting – be it oil, watercolour or acrylic – to pottery to sculpture and many more besides. The gift of a hobby kit is a lovely way to show that their interests are important, that the company listened to their plans and wants to help them achieve their dreams.
Often the newly retired enjoy travelling. Give them a travel journal in which to plan and document their journeys. Boasting handy pockets for postcards and traveller’s cheques, ‘places to see’ lists and plenty of space so the owner can jot down their thoughts and impressions on the go. Sometimes booking and planning a trip can seem daunting, but having a neat book in which to write down everything that needs to be taken care can make sure that everything is in one place, and, thanks to the handy lists inside, unlikely to be forgotten in the excitement.
Experience days are another thoughtful gift that can help the retiree transition from worker to person of leisure. Experiences can be anything from learning to drive a race car to hot air balloon trips to classes in anything from creative writing to photography. There are also quirky vouchers for things like being a zoo-keeper for a day Do make sure that the experience fits well with the recipient: a day trip to an aquarium is no treat for a ichthyophobe!