20 Amazing Gifts To Give An Employee When They Retire


When an employee is retiring soon you probably wonder, what do you give an employee when they retire?

You gift an employee a retirement gift that matches their interests/ future plans in retirement or a memorable keepsake. This can be a practical gift they can enjoy and use in retirement or a personalized keepsake to honor their hard work and dedication. Don’t forget to add a retirement card best wishes, or introduce the gift with a speech/ toast.

And to help you find the perfect gift, I’ve listed 20 amazing retirement gifts to give an employee when they retire in this article. So continue reading.

1) Travel Gift

One of the most popular plans for retirement is traveling. Everyone wants to go on a trip to celebrate and enjoy their newfound freedom in retirement. And the best travel gift out there is this book: 50 States, 5,000 Ideas. A bestseller created by National Geographic with the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. A great retirement gift for almost any employee. To give amazing ideas for their future travel trips or to inspire and make the most of retirement.

2) Online Classes

When you wish someone a happy retirement, you want to wish them the best time in retirement. And a very tangible way to do that is gifting a great time in retirement with online classes.

Many retirees like to follow classes to upgrade their hobby skills, explore new interests or want to learn something new and have fun. Therefore gifting online classes is such a good idea.

And the best one is gifting World’s Best Online Classes: Masterclass. Every time someone asks me what is the #1 best retirement gift? I say Masterclass. And here is why:

Masterclass (My #1 Favorite)

Masterclass is a streaming platform that allows anyone to watch or listen to hundreds of video lessons taught by the world’s most successful and famous teachers. To name a few: Alicia Keys, Gordon Ramsay, Samuel L Jackson, Anna Wintour, Dan Brown, Lewis Hamilton, Robin Roberts, etc. You can gift one Masterclass or access to all classes in cooking, art, music, business, writing, science, sports, etc.

With this gift you give them a great time, and the opportunity to explore new hobbies, upgrade their skills, learn the secrets of the world’s greatest, and ultimately pursue their passion with a lot more confidence, because of the lessons gained.

You can find out more about Masterclass by clicking on the button below.

3) Retirement Tribute Gift

When an employee is retiring they want to feel acknowledged and feel that their hard work didn’t go unnoticed. And that is why a tribute gift is a great idea to give an employee who is retiring. For example, this can be a plague or a personalized Crystal Award to honor them in a special way. It’s a tangible gift that shows their dedication was appreciated and was seen by others within the company.

These are all great ideas, but if you ask a retiree what they miss most at work, it’s their coworkers. And that is why my creating a retirement tribute video together with all the retiree’s colleagues is one of the best retirement tribute gifts out there.

Retirement Tribute Video

This video can be a compilation of fun photos with quotes and lists of all the retiree’s successes or a compilation of beautiful video messages from coworkers. This also creates a nice opportunity for them to say goodbye to their retired coworker in a memorable way. And show this video as a surprise on their last day at work, during a meeting, or at their retirement celebration party.

If you need some help with creating a retirement tribute video, you can read my helpful guide: How Do I Make A Retirement Video? A Step-by-Step Guide

4) Personalized Retirement Gift

The best retirement gifts are the most personalized gifts. The more personal, the better. You want to avoid gifting a standard gift, especially to an employee who worked decades at your company.

Personalizing means you honor the relationship or friendship you’ve built over the years. It makes any normal retirement gift instantly memorable and treasurable. And the employee has the feeling to be understood, acknowledged, and loved. And that is the main goal of gifting a retirement gift.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, you want to gift something that matches the employee’s personal interests or future plans for retirement. This means you can take their passion and put your creative spin on it by personalizing it. For example, an engraved watch, a personalized grill tool set for a BBQ lover, a personalized cooking iron, a personalized decanter set, etc. You can find amazing personalized gifts at Uncommon Goods.

5) Best Gift For A Cooking Fan

When you know the retiring employee loves to cook, then a retirement gift in that area is a great idea.

A very thoughtful gift can be collecting all coworker’s famous (family) recipes in a book and gifting this new cookbook so the retiree can try it out in retirement.

Another gift idea is to give them a personalized apron, or a new kitchen gadget they’ve been talking about for ages. But my favorite is to gift cooking classes from the world’s renowned chefs at Masterclass as a retirement gift.

Cooking Classes

There are over 20 different cooking classes on Masterclass. From Indian, and Italian, to Mexican, Southern, Texas-Style Grilling, Japanese, French Pasty, Bread making cooking classes. They can learn the skills, secrets, and favorite dishes of Aaron Frankin, Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, and many more.

And the best party is the retiree can learn at their own time, pace, and device.

6) Best Gift A Creative Retiring Employee

A creative person would love to get a creative retirement gift. You can consider gifting a painting set, an art journal, or other art supplies that aligns with the retiree’s art interests.

An amazing retirement gift idea is this Adults & Crafts Giftbox from Cratejoy. You can gift a 1-month, 3-month, 6-months, or 12-month subscription and have this gift box with new fun art projects (plus supplies) delivered to their door every month. What better way to inspire and motivate the retiree to be creative in retirement. Perhaps, this can be the start of a new passion they didn’t know existed yet.

The Adults & Crafts Crate

7) Best Gifts For Sporty Types

As you wish the retiree a long and healthy retirement, you can make this more tangible by also gifting a sports-related gift. And personalize it to make it more special. For example sports equipment like new golf clubs, a specialized fishing pole, an engraved tennis racket, a t-shirt or ball with autographs from their favorite sports team, etc.

8) Best Gardening Gift

Another favorite activity of retirees is gardening. Many retirees take up gardening as their new retirement hobby. And an amazing gardening gift for a retiring employee with a green thumb is this Costumizable Gardener’s Harvest Basket.

9) Best Gift For A Wine Lover

A great retirement gift idea for a wine lover is a wine gift box from The California Wine Club with handcrafted wines, each hand-selected from an artisan winery.

Wine Gift Set - Napa Valley Reserve

10) Give A Retirement Party

What better way to show a retiring employee that they’re appreciated and loved than by throwing him/ her a fun retirement party?

Whether it is a small gathering with a couple of coworkers or an entire event with the whole company. A retirement party is a great team-building event that shows you care about your employees and value them and you honor the retiree in a fun and festive way.

11) Gift An Experience

Another amazing thing you can do is to ask the employee about their bucket list and gift them one of these experiences.

For example, this can be a weekend getaway with their spouse, tickets to a sporting event, theater tickets, a skydive experience, or a ride in a hot-air balloon. Retirement is all about living without regrets and an awesome experience gift can fit right into that.

12) Best Traditional Retirement Gift: Watch

The most traditional retirement gift is a watch. Or a bouquet of flowers, but that is always a good idea to gift a bouquet of flowers together with your main retirement gift. A bouquet of flowers doesn’t really count as a gift in my opinion.

No back to the watch. Gifting a watch is the most traditional gift from employer to employee. It started at Pepsi Company in the 1940s when they gave their employee’s a gold watch at retirement with the note: “You gave us your time, now we give you time”.

Now, this is still an amazing gift idea. And I explain more about it in my article plus I share amazing watch gift ideas: 11 Reasons Why A Watch Is A Good Retirement Gift!

13) Best Retirement Gift Basket

A celebration isn’t complete without champagne. Therefore gifting a Champagne Gift Basket is a great idea, because you give an employee the opportunity and ingredients to celebrate their retirement at home, in their own way, and in their own time together with friends and family. And a good bottle of champagne.

14) Thoughtful Gift

To make a retirement gift meaningful you have to go down memory lane. And you can do this by creating a tribute video as I mentioned earlier, but you can also create a nice scrapbook or photobook and include fun photos, notes, anecdotes, and best wishes from all employees at the company. Also, making a group photo with the text “We will miss you” or “Thank You” are excellent gifting ideas if you really want to make a lasting impression.

15) Best Gift For A Beer Lover

Does your employee like to drink beer? Then a Beer Gift Basket with new craft beers to try out in retirement is a great idea. And this Around The World Beer Bucket from gourmet gift baskets is filled with 12 beers from many different countries and beloved gourmet foods to enjoy as well.

15) Best Gift For Bookworms

Retirement is the time when people finally have the time and space to enjoy a good book. And that is why a lot of people give books at a retirement celebration. But you can take this gift idea a bit further by gifting an E-reader with a 3-month Kindle subscription so the retiree has access to millions of good (audio) books.

16) An Electronic Gift

Some people love electronic products. I don’t know why, but it is a thing.

So if you’re employee is a gadget freak, then giving an electronic gift might be the best retirement gift idea for you. Perhaps they’ve been talking about a new gadget for years, well this can be a great time to make this “product dream” come true. And if you don’t have any clue, I’ve listed a couple of ideas below:

Electronic Gift Ideas

17) Gift Card

Gift cards are often the easy and not-so-personal route. But sometimes this can be a great idea. For example, a gift certificate to the employee’s favorite wine shop or restaurant. Or make a gift basket with all the employee’s favorite snacks, fun accessories, and drinks, including gift cards from their favorite shop, streaming platform, movie theater, etc.

18) A Gift Only An Employer Can Give

As an employer you have some extra gifting powers skills others don’t have. And you can use this power to give unusual but very thoughtful gifts. For example an invitation to all future company parties, or if an employee never called in sick you can count up all their unused sick leave days and pay these out as an extra bonus for their retirement. Or hire them as a freelance consultant and pay them well for their wisdom and expertise. Or you can use your own creative skills and thinking brain to come up with a fun idea.

19) Relaxing/ Spa Gift

At retirement, you retire from a lot of things. And one of the best things is that you become free of any stress that is work-related. And put your energy into relaxing, doing fun things, and taking better care of yourself.

But also for some people, retiring can be very stressful. Many people have no clue what to do or worry about their finances and health all the time.

And this is why giving a Spa/ Relax Gift Basket to take the pressure off, help them relax, and encourages them to live a happy and healthy life is an amazing idea. You can customize this gift basket to your liking.

Totally Spa

20) Funny Retirement Gift

At retirement, many people like to gift funny retirement gifts. Now, my advice in most cases is to leave gifting gag gifts such as coffee mugs (“best boss ever”) and wine glasses and small gifts such as chocolates and cookies to coworkers. As an employer, you want to do a little more than that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give a funny retirement gift. You can have a bit of fun by gifting a couple of funny retirement gifts before you introduce the big company (more serious) gift. Or you include a funny retirement gift in your self-made gift basket. Here are a couple of ideas

Funny Retirement Gift Ideas

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 200+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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