Getting the perfect retirement gift is a great way to seal a working relationship and turn it into a lasting connection.
Gift-giving fulfills our psychological need1http://karenpine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/The-Psychology-of-Gift-Exchange.pdf for appreciation and connection. After decades of serving a company or industry, retirement is a massive accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated. Whether it is your boss, employee, coworker, friend, sister, or mother, a thoughtful retirement gift shows that you value their contributions to your life, company, or career.
Here is an all-inclusive guide to buying a retirement gift that will be cherished and utilized for years to come.
5 Tips to Choose the Best Retirement Gift for a Woman
If you want to avoid corny or unwanted gifts, remember that gift recipients tend to2https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022103111000801 be more appreciative of gifts they explicitly request. Here are 5 simple tips for choosing a great retirement gift:
1. Investigate her interests
It’s pretty awkward to receive a gift that has nothing to do with your interests. Before you purchase a set of golf clubs or an array of local wines, make sure you know what the retiree actually likes.
Show someone you really care by paying attention to the little details. It’s easy to know what a family member enjoys, but if you are purchasing a gift for a retiring boss or coworker, you may need to look for some clues:
- Office décor: If her cubicle has photos from different destinations around the world, a travel gift will probably suit her well. On the other hand, if her Zoom background always includes movies, she may appreciate a theater gift card and popcorn set.
- Hobbies: What does she talk about doing in her free time? Don’t be afraid to ask questions about her hobbies or her retirement goals in the weeks leading up to a retirement party.
- Food selections: Notice what she eats on her lunch break. Does she pack her own home-cooked meals or share fresh baked goods with the office? Consider a cooking class or kitchen accessory basket. Does she love a certain local lunch spot? Perhaps a gift card or fancy meal is better suited.
- Her style or clothing: People tend to express themselves through their outfits. A woman who loves chic fashion would probably appreciate a gift card to Nordstrom or Saks Fifth Avenue. However, a retiree with a more eclectic or bohemian style may prefer a colorful scarf or a gift card to a local vintage store.
As a rule of thumb, avoid giving the same generic gift to a group of retiring staff. If you are a manager who is gifting to a retiring employee, be sure that you understand the employee lifecycle stages and how to best cater to specific age groups and experience levels.
Pro Tip: When in doubt, ask what she wants. It is perfectly fine to inquire, “What do you want for a retirement gift?” In a 2011 study, psychologists found that the best gifts are3https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/publications/give-them-what-they-want-benefits-explicitness-gift-exchange the ones that people ask for.
2. Set a budget
A meaningful retirement gift doesn’t have to be expensive. This list includes options from $25 to $500 or more. If you have a low budget, prioritize making the gift unique, custom, and thoughtful.
Pro Tip: If you are purchasing a gift for a boss or colleague, consider pooling together with other people in your office to purchase a higher-budget item or experience. For example, a $250 lavish spa day experience could be more exciting than five miscellaneous $50 gift cards. Make your individual budget go further by joining forces with others.
3. Personalize the gift
Generic retirement gifts aren’t nearly as special as the ones you take the time to customize. If you want to give a gift basket, consider putting together a custom basket (suited to her preferences) rather than purchasing a pre-made one.
For a piece of clothing, cookware, bag, or tools for a hobby, consider a custom engraved monogram or embroidery for a personalized touch.
4. Give an experience
Generally speaking, a lot of women in their forties, fifties, or sixties do not need more stuff. An experiential gift (like a spa day) or consumable gift (like food) may be better suited to recipients who don’t want more material things. If possible, find a way to give an experience that you know she will enjoy in her retirement.
This could include a gift card, certificate, membership, or subscription. If someone close to you is retiring, you may also plan a special day that you can spend together.
5. Include a thoughtful card
Handwritten letters may seem nostalgic or old-fashioned, but they are sure to “wow” anyone who is retiring. The more personal your relationship is, the more important a card will be.
Sometimes, a card can be even more meaningful than the gift itself. If you have a low budget or you want to leave a profound impact, prioritize a handwritten card that she can cherish for years to come.
When writing a card or letter for a woman who is retiring, consider including:
- Things you admire about her
- A quote that reminds you of her
- Things she has taught you (as a mother, grandmother, mentor, boss, etc.)
- A heartwarming story
- A funny memory you shared
Depending on your age, it may be helpful to review How to Communicate With People From Different Generations to ensure you don’t write anything confusing or offensive to the future retiree.
100+ Retirement Gift Ideas for Women
The best retirement gifts happen at the intersection of the recipient’s interests and your budget. Out of these 100+ ideas, you’re sure to find something specially suited to your new retiree.
Retirement gifts under $100
Research shows that gift recipients4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9005789/ aren’t too concerned with the cost of a gift, and they don’t necessarily perceive expensive gifts as more valuable. It really is the thought that counts! Here are some meaningful gift ideas that won’t break the bank:
For those who love to lounge or explore outdoors, a hammock is another gift that encourages leisure. This one is easily customizable based on someone’s specific interests. An ENO DoubleNest hammock is perfect for a woman who regularly hikes with her husband, while a hammock chair swing is ideal for someone who spends a lot of time on the porch birdwatching.
- Deluxe edition Scrabble
Someone who loves words and board games will appreciate a specialty Scrabble set. This wooden game board has a beautiful mahogany finish and gold-toned accents.
- Candle set
Candles set the mood for everything from an evening meditation or self-care bath to a cocktail party or romantic dinner. Candle lovers will appreciate an aromatic gift set that matches her vibe. Bonus points if you include her favorite scent or a decorative style that matches her home!
This candle gift set is made with natural soy wax and aromatherapy oils.
- Back massager
After decades of working at a desk, most retirees will appreciate a release from muscle tension. A budget-friendly back and neck massager can be used on a couch, chair, or even under her feet!
- Skincare gift box
It’s safe to say that the majority of women have some sort of skincare routine. Purchase a premade skincare gift basket or put together a big assortment of travel-size lotions, mini serums, and single-use face masks for her to try out in her new free time.
We love this rose-inspired gift set on Amazon:
- Custom coffee mug
Coffee mugs are a classic gift with big potential for customization. You can add a photo, quote, or funny one-liner that is relevant to her career. VistaPrint lets you design an affordable custom mug from scratch or with a quick template.
- Giant flower arrangement
Flowers are suited for nearly every celebration and retirement is no different. Head to a local florist for a simple bouquet of flowers or a vibrant floral arrangement to place on her desk or the entryway to her retirement party.
Bouqs.com offers long-lasting retirement bouquets delivered straight to their door.
- Herb planter
If the retiree is a plant lover or culinary aficionado, consider purchasing a decorative herb planter from your local garden store with an array of baby plants like basil, cilantro, and thyme. Try this Windosill 9 Herb Starter Kit from Amazon:
- Wine gift set
A fancy bottle of wine, a custom wine cup, and a unique cork stopper (like this bronze compass cork) make a fun-themed gift box. If you’re unsure whether she likes white or red, support local vineyards or wine bars by purchasing a gift card.
- Healthy snacks gift set
Health nuts will appreciate a box full of wholesome goodies. If you know that the retiree follows a vegan, gluten-free, or organic diet, you can purchase a sampler of healthy snacks or find a pre-prepared gift set. For example, here is a vegan snacks kit from Thrive Market.
- Gardening gift set
Retirement leaves plenty of time for getting your hands in the soil. Head to a local garden store and put together a cute gardening gift basket with hand tools, gloves, seeds, and accessories. You can also find a premade set like this one from GardenHOME.
- Yoga mat
You’re never too old to do yoga, and some women may find that they have a lot more time to zen out in their retirement. A quality yoga mat can make a world of difference for aging joints. If you know she loves yoga, get her a top-notch cork yoga mat or Lululemon yoga mat.
- Kimono robe
Retirement usually includes plenty of lounging and self-care. Treat her with a luxurious robe or kimono that fits her unique style. You can even get it embroidered with her initials!
We love this elegant satin robe from Babeyond.
- Bath bombs
Retirement self-care inevitably includes lots of bubble baths. An all-natural bath bomb set makes a great gift to inspire relaxation in a soothing hot bath.
- Nail salon gift certificate
It’s easy to notice if a woman regularly gets her nails done. Whether she loves acrylics, gels, or artsy designs, a gift certificate to her favorite nail salon will ensure that she gets the full pampering she deserves.
- Dessert from a local bakery
You can’t go wrong with a fresh-baked cake, cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake, or pie. Just be sure you check any allergies or dietary restrictions in advance. Bonus points if you get her favorite flavor or color, and a custom message written with icing!
- Gourmet sweets
Anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate specialty treats to savor after their retirement celebrations. If you don’t want to bring anything perishable, consider a gourmet gift basket with high-quality chocolates and candies.
We love this customizable gift basket from Gifts of Gourmet:
- Gourmet cheese basket
Culinary wizzes and cheese-lovers will deeply appreciate tasting an array of gourmet cheeses. Head to your local specialty grocery store and find 4-7 different cuts of gouda, cheddar, goat cheese, brie, burrata, and more. Williams Sonoma also offers a delicious European cheese crate:
- Charcuterie gift set
Speaking of cheeses, if the new retiree loves charcuterie boards, consider putting together a fun set of meats, cheeses, and crackers displayed on a mini cutting board. There are plenty of pre-made options like this one from Harry & David:
- Sewing kit
Retirement leaves a lot more time for slowing down and getting creative. If you know someone who loves to sew, consider buying her a travel sewing kit or a gift card to the local fabric store.
- Craft kit
From scrapbooking to knitting to painting and beyond, there are so many creative gift sets available for women who love to craft. Just be sure you are purchasing based on something you know she is interested in.
Consider this beginner macrame kit for adults:
- Clothing store gift card
People really appreciate it when you notice their unique style. If there is a specific brand that you know she will love, a clothing gift card is a perfectly appropriate retirement gift. Any fashionista will want to dress just as fabulous in retirement!
Remember the tip above regarding a woman’s lunch habits on the job? If you know that the new retiree always packs herself a delicious home-cooked meal, she will probably appreciate a cookbook catered to her favorite cuisine.
- A novel or bookstore gift card
Book lovers are easy to spot: They’ll have a shelf of books in their office or a novel in their purse. If you’ve read a novel you think she’d love, buy it for her and include a customized bookmark for her to remember you by. If you’re unsure what books she likes, there is no shame in letting her pick out her own with a gift certificate!
Experiential gifts for female retirees
Research shows that experiential gifts create stronger relationships5https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/43/6/913/2632328?login=false than material gifts. But how do you give an experience? Pay close attention to the recipient’s hobbies and interests, then plan an outing or purchase a special gift certificate for a retirement experience she’ll never forget.
- Spa day
A spa experience may seem cliche, but it can be one of the best retirement gifts. After decades of the 9-5 grind, a hardworking woman is probably craving some time to relax and treat herself.
Find a local spa and purchase a gift card for a massage, facial, or mani/pedi. Better yet, team up with family members or coworkers to give a bigger experience like a day-long spa retreat.
- Gift card to her favorite restaurant
If you know of a specific restaurant that she loves (or wants to try), buy her a gift certificate or invite her out for a celebratory experience. You can even ask the waiter to prepare a special dessert commemorating the occasion!
- Painting class
Help her kick off this new chapter of her life with a new hobby! A painting class at a local art studio could ignite a whole world of colorful expression.
- Pottery class
This is another great idea for an art lover. Purchase a gift certificate for a pottery course at a nearby art studio space.
- Theater tickets
This simple gift will be highly appreciated by a woman who loves musicals and plays. If possible, include a gift receipt for refundable or exchangeable tickets in case she can’t make the exact date.
- Weekend getaway
Create an extravagant weekend experience for someone close to you. Choose a destination, book a hotel or bed and breakfast, schedule a few excursions, make restaurant reservations, and bring along a camera for plenty of fun photos. From a luxury island getaway to a budget-friendly road trip, the retiree will probably remember this gift for the rest of her life.
Be sure to do all planning and booking in advance. On the day of the retirement party, you can give her a card that includes plane tickets or a map of your destinations. This extremely thoughtful and time-intensive gift is best reserved for very personal relationships like a best friend, sister, mother, or grandmother.
- Concert tickets
Office discussions may occasionally explore musical interests, but this gift is usually best for a close friend or family member. If you know a specific singer or band that the future retiree likes, invite them to attend a concert with you!
- Cooking class
Foodies have a lot more time during retirement to explore their culinary passions. Use a site like CozyMeal to find a local or virtual cooking class, or purchase a gift card to print or email to the recipient.
- Salon package
Hair? Nails? Makeover? Gift a retirement salon treatment experience with a local gift certificate.
- Museum or attraction membership
Most museums, exhibits, zoos, and theme parks offer annual campus memberships. If you know she loves to visit a nearby art or history museum, consider giving her a membership. As a bonus, the money usually goes to a non-profit with a good cause.
- Winery tour
For wine lovers who want to have you along for the ride, purchase a winery tour and spend quality time with the new retiree as you celebrate her successful career. Don’t forget the tour guide or designated driver!
Luxury retirement gifts for women
These are gifts for a special woman who has had a major impact on your life or your career. A unique luxury gift works great for group gift purchases where you can pool together your resources with family members or colleagues.
- Electric commuter bike
For the adventurous woman who wants to stay in shape, an electric bike gives an extra boost to tired legs. This expensive but thoughtful group gift could knock her socks off. She’ll remember her amazing team every time she takes a ride.
This bike from RadPower is highly reviewed:
- Monthly subscription box
There are hundreds of companies offering subscription boxes these days. From skincare to wine surprises to dog goodies to makeup samples, you can find a subscription box online for any interest.
This is “the gift that keeps on giving” because she will remember you every time a new box arrives. You can prepay for a 3- or 6-month subscription and give her the first box at a retirement party. Just keep in mind that you will need her address for the deliveries!
- Local farm CSA veggie box
If she is a home chef, health nut, and/or local foodie, a fresh produce subscription box from a local farm could easily become one of her favorite retirement gifts! The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model is used by family farms around the world to provide weekly boxes of seasonal produce to local members.
Head to the farmer’s market or use LocalHarvest to find a CSA near you and ask about giving a subscription.
- Fitbit watch
Staying in shape after retirement is no easy feat, but a Fitbit makes it easy to track daily steps, calories, and health markers. If a future retiree expresses interest in fitness or health, this could be a gift that she uses every day for years to come!
Find the latest Fitbit Sense watch online:
For photographer hobbyists or globetrotters, a digital camera retirement gift will have them smiling every time they snap a photo.
We love the new Panasonic LUMIX:
Retirement leaves plenty of time to read. Whether she plans to travel the world or buy a vacation home near the beach, a Kindle ensures that she can read books anywhere.
The Kindle Paperwhite is designed to look just like a real book:
Funny retirement gifts
She’s written her retirement letter and she’s ready to hit the road! These hilarious retirement gifts are great for women with a quirky sense of humor.
- Humorous coffee mugs
A funny retirement mug will have her thinking of you as she pours a cup of a Joe and chuckles at the quote on the side.
Retirement Weekly Schedule Mug on Amazon
Retirement Mug for Women on Amazon
- Retirement wall art
From little tin signs to hilarious framed pictures, retirement wall art adds a goofy twist to decor.
- Sassy candle
If you have a sarcastic boss or coworker, this humorous candle will surely crack them up:
Smells Like It’s Not Your Problem Anymore Candle on Etsy
- Retired shirts and accessories
A simple search online will yield an abundance of hilarious retirement t-shirts ranging from silly work jokes (“Retired Class of 2023: Hello Pension, Goodbye Tension”) to girly fun like “The Best is Yet to Come!”
This happy hour retirement shirt is great for a cocktail lover:
- Retirement joke clock
Finally, she doesn’t have to worry about getting to work on time! This retirement gag gift is a great reminder that she is finally free to do whatever she wants.
Who Cares I’m Retired Wall Clock on Amazon
Unique retirement gifts for her
Wish your best girlfriend or female colleague a happy retirement with an unexpected gift. These unique presents are incredibly memorable.
- Digital picture frame
For a super thoughtful gift, purchase a digital picture frame and load it with photos of family and friends. She can leave it on display in her home and use an app to upload new photos whenever she wants.
Wifi Digital Picture Frame on Amazon
- Custom caricature painting
Find a local caricature artist to create a painting of the new retiree depicted at the height of her career. Provide them with a flattering photo and details about how to create an industry-relevant backdrop. You can also try a website like Caricature24.
- Workplace honor
Instead of a plaque or trophy, consider gifting a unique personalized crystal award from CrystalPlus that dual-functions as an art piece. Include a customized message about the retiree’s contributions to the company.
- Personalized retirement wind chime
AstarinChimes offers beautiful custom-engraved wind chimes that look as gorgeous as they sound.
- Passport case
Travel lovers will appreciate a unique passport case. Look for a pattern or style that matches her purse and clothing selections, such as this vibrant floral design.
- Bucket list travel journal
The classic film “The Bucket List” coined the idea of making a list of things to do before you “kick the bucket.” As someone prepares for retirement, bid her farewell on exciting new adventures with a unique journal full of inspirational destinations.
The Amazing Bucket List Travel Journal Organizer on Amazon
- Personalized travel bag
A woman who loves to travel will appreciate a personalized carry-on suitcase embroidered with her initials or name. Mark and Graham offers gorgeous monogrammed luggage collections like this one:
- Scratch-off map
A scratch-off map acts as a travel tracker and household decor item for women who dream of globetrotting after retirement.
Scratch the World Travel Map on Amazon
- Custom photo booklet
Use Mpix to create a custom photo booklet with your favorite memories from her career or family life.
- Engraved chef’s knife
Everyone has kitchen knives, but what about a specialty chef’s knife with her name engraved on it? MadeIn Cookware offers gorgeous custom-engraved knives that make perfect retirement gifts for any home chef.
- Charitable donation
Donate to a good cause in honor of the future retiree and give her a certificate, plaque, or other memorabilia of the cause. If she loves animals, donate to the animal shelter. If she loves nature, consider a donation to the local conservatory. Many charities offer options to engrave plaques, benches, tiles, or stones in the name of a donor.
Miscellaneous Retirement Gift Ideas for Women
- High-quality bottle of liquor
- Cocktail mixer box
- Custom engraved cutting board
- A special piece of jewelry
- Charm bracelet
- Name necklace
- Personalized photo frame
- Retirement ornament
- Happy retirement pillows
- Jade roller set
- Sleep mask
- Turntable and a record LP
- Running sneakers
- Noise-canceling headphones
- A travel pillow
- Retirement coloring book
- Essential oil diffuser
- Canvas print
- Custom tapestry
- Wide-brimmed sun hat
- Teapot and tea assortment
- Wall art
- Tennis racket
- Paint easel
- Golf clubs
- Gym membership
- Hotel gift card
- At-home foot spa
- Recliner chair
- Quilt or blanket
- Silk pillowcase
- A custom pet portrait
- A purse
- Custom tote bag
- Specialty key chain
- Wine glass set
- Notebook and pen
- Specialty cookware
- Travel tote
- House plants
- Decorative pottery
Key Takeaways: Tailor Retirement Gifts to Specific Interests
Celebrating an entire life’s work should not be taken lightly! When choosing a retirement gift for a woman in your office or your life, remember these simple tips:
- Listen to and observe what the future retiree likes.
- Prioritize gifts that are experiential or consumable.
- When in doubt, ask what she wants.
- Always include a thoughtful note (handwritten if possible!)
When you remember important dates and give thoughtful gifts, people are more likely to perceive you as a kind, giving person. Here are another 62 Unique Ideas to Be a Nicer Person, According to Science.
Top 5 retirement gifts for her Synthesized by BSS news
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