Retirement marks the end of an era. Your parent is taking a step back from the workforce and focusing more on how they want to spend their days. That makes it a moment worth celebrating and a perfect moment to give them a gift to commemorate the occasion. Here are ten fantastic retirement gifts for your parent’s retirement.
1. An Amazing Experience
Many people prefer experiences over stuff. If your parents fall into that category, let them kick off their retirement with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hot air balloon rides, trips around a race track in a sports car, time operating big construction equipment, whale watching tours, monster truck driving lessons, helicopter skyline tours, a chance to fly a Cessna, and many more options are all on the table.
You could also go with something more traditional. Concert tickets to see their favorite band, cooking lessons, spa treatments, and similar choices can certainly work, too. Just consider what will let your parents make some memories together, and use that as a guide.
2. Items for Their Hobbies
Retirement usually means far more time to take part in activities your parent enjoys. Since that’s the case, giving them a gift that aligns with their hobbies can be an excellent option.
Precisely what the gift should entail depends on your parent’s preferences. Gardening equipment, golf clubs, craft supplies, video games, cooking tools, and nearly anything else is worth considering as long as it aligns with your parent’s hobbies.
If your parent is about to start a new hobby, you could also look into classes. There are in-person and online courses that cover nearly any topic imaginable, allowing you to give the gift of a head start on their new hobby.
3. Travel Gear
For many retirees, travel is their main priority. If your parents are going to hit the road or take to the skies during retirement, give the gift of high-quality travel gear.
Luggage is an easy place to start, particularly since there are options with amazing features like built-in chargers and GPS trackers. Travel guides are similarly simple, particularly if your parent already has a destination in mind. You could also go with tech, such as a high-quality camera, noise-canceling headphones for flights, or sleep cycle alarm clocks to combat jet lag upon arrival.
If your parents are RV travelers, look for services that can boost their experience. A satellite radio subscription might be a nice option. You could also provide a mobile hotspot and cover a year’s worth of service, allowing them to stay connected while on the go.
4. A Pre-Paid Vacation
In a similar vein, sending your parents on a pre-paid vacation could be another fun way to celebrate their retirement. You could book a long weekend at their favorite destination, recreate their honeymoon, or send them somewhere new.
Just make sure you don’t book definitive dates without coordinating with your parents. While you may want the gift to be a surprise, don’t assume that they’re available on particular dates just because they’ve retired. At a minimum, confirm they’re able to travel on those dates. Additionally, make sure they have the necessities, like approved IDs or passports. Otherwise, make certain the dates of the trip are flexible, giving them a chance to handle everything before it’s time to hit to road or skies.
5. Plan (and Pay for) a Retirement Party
Technically, a retirement party can be a gift if you handle the bulk of the planning and all of the costs. You’re giving them the gift of amazing memories, allowing them to have a great time with family, friends, and former colleagues without any of the stress that usually comes with holding an event.
How you approach the party should depend on your parents’ needs and preferences. If they’re laidback and you know them well, a surprise party may be a fun approach. However, if they aren’t overly spontaneous or you are concerned your choices might not align with what they’d like, ask for their input.
With the latter approach, you can still tackle most of the planning by making the needed arrangements. Plus, you’ll cover the cost. Just make sure your parents know if you have a budget. That way, they don’t aim beyond what you can afford.
6. Make a Congratulatory Video or Scrapbook
If you’re looking for a personalized gift that commemorates the occasion, consider making a congratulatory video. You can include images from your parent’s years working and mix in well wishes from family members, friends, and colleagues. Add a simple background track, and you’ve got the foundation for a great video.
When it comes to well wishes, you can request videos or get them in writing. With the former, give participants some basic parameters. For example, let them know if they should shoot in portrait or landscape mode and provide tips for lighting, background colors, and reducing ambient noise.
For written well wishes, ask for handwritten notes and scan or photograph them. That way, they’re a tad more personal than plain text on a screen.
If video is a bit more than you’re comfortable with, go with a scrapbook instead. The handwritten well wishes with images from your parents’ lives can be a wonderful keepsake, making it a solid alternative.
7. Create an “I’m Bored” Box
Adapting to retirement can be a bit tricky if your parent is used to the hustle and bustle. If you want to make sure they can keep busy, create an “I’m Bored” box that they can use if the need arises. In the box, you’ll have envelopes, each with an activity recommendation inside.
You can take this gift up a notch by adding gifts cards. That way, if you recommend a place, your parents can go relieve their boredom without having to spend a dime. Restaurants, museums, zoos, aquariums, and similar destinations are all worth including, so consider starting there if you don’t know where to begin.
8. Meal Delivery Service
During retirement, your parents may have more time to explore their love of cooking. If that’s the case, make it easy by giving them a subscription to a high-quality meal delivery service. They’ll get pre-portioned ingredients, allowing them to spend less time on prep and more on cooking. Plus, they can explore a wide array of cuisines and learn new techniques, all through a user-friendly approach that’s designed to make gourmet meals accessible.
If your parents have any dietary restrictions, consider that first when choosing a service. Many of the companies can cover some needs, but certain options may not be available everywhere. Once you find out which ones can cover that, preview meals and costs to find the one that’s the best fit.
9. Upgraded Appliances
Another option for retirees who love to cook is upgraded appliances. Today, you can find stoves with built-in air fryers, refrigerators with screens built into the doors, and other high-tech solutions that may not have been available when your parents last replaced their appliances.
You could also look for options they may not have currently. For instance, you could get them a new grill or smoker or a backyard wood-fired pizza oven. That lets them explore different kinds of cooking. Plus, it may give them a reason to host the occasional gathering, ensuring they remain social as they enjoy their retirement.
10. Brewing Kits
For the parent that appreciates a nice craft beer or cider, a brewing kit could be a fun option for their retirement. It invites them to explore creating their own delectable beverages at home, making it a hobby that rewards them in more ways than one.
If you want to give a brewing kit, don’t default to the simple ones you find online. While those can be lovely in some cases, you may want to find a brewer supply store and see if they have something a bit more robust that’s still beginner-friendly. That way, if your parent wants to keep going after their first batch, they’ll have a high-quality, versatile system that they can use for years to come.
Can you think of any other great retirement gift ideas for a parent’s retirement? Have you given or received one of the gifts above and want to share your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.