Retirement Gift Inscription Ideas

by Peggy Epstein

Writing an effective retirement gift inscription can be tricky.

preparing for christmas image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com

Nearly any retirement gift can be personalized by adding an inscription. Deciding just what that inscription will be can be tricky because retirement marks both an end and a beginning, and, in many cases, both should be acknowledged. In addition, an effective inscription shows that the gift giver knows something about the recipient. Depending what the gift is, inscriptions can be hand written, silk-screened or engraved.

Book Inscriptions Ideas

The right book can be an appreciated retirement gift, especially if the inscription links the idea behind the book to the recipient. For example, for a retiree who plans to travel, the first page of a book on ideas for travel destinations might be inscribed in pen by the gift giver with such thoughts as “Wishing you many journeys filled with joy and discovery.” A gardener might appreciate a book inscribed with a message such as “Wishing you a colorful and ever-blooming retirement garden.”

Clothing Inscription Ideas

For a light-hearted gift, consider a sweatshirt silk- screened with a personalized retirement inscription. For ideas, check out a site listing retirement quotes, such as the one given in the Resource section below. Start with a stock quote and then give it a twist to fit the recipient. For example, Ella Harris wrote “A retired husband is often a wife’s full-time job,” which might be changed to read something like “Ed’s retirement just gave Sandy a full-time job.” Gene Perret’s quote “I’m now free as the breeze—with roughly the same income”; just replace the “I’m” with “Lisa is . . .”

Glass or Silver Gift Inscriptions

A formal retirement gift such as a glass platter or a silver pitcher calls for an inspirational or otherwise meaningful engraved inscription. Write an original inscription that includes the name of the retiree, his best attributes or contributions, and a wish for his retirement, such as “To George, who worked his hardest at making all of us look good. May retirement be good to you.” Here’s another example: “Best wishes to Shelly, whose cheerfulness sweetened every Monday morning.”

Plaque Inscription

Personalize a plaque by recognizing the retiree with a series of phrases, each starting with one letter of her name. The letters of the name would be inscribed vertically on the plaque with a heading such as “Best wishes to Pamela who . . .” The first line might say “Played fair,” the next line “Always gave her all,” the third line “Met every day with a smile,” and so on using all the letters of the first and last name as the start for a phrase about the retiree. You might consider including a few humorous phrases.

Photo Credits

  • preparing for christmas image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Peggy Epstein is a freelance writer specializing in education and parenting. She has authored two books, "Great Ideas for Grandkids" and "Family Writes," and published more than 100 articles for various print and online publications. Epstein is also a former public school teacher with 25 years' experience. She received a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.