Retirement Party Gift Ideas for Friends

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You will be at the party to support your friend's retirement. But, what should you give him to show that you respect his accomplishment and appreciate his friendship? Give a gift that reflects his personality, activities and interests. Remember: Your gift should encourage or pamper him.

Hobby-Related Gifts

A friend's retirement will allow him to focus on the activities he loves. Gifts related to the retiree's hobbies is a safe choice, explains Peggy Post, a director at the Emily Post Institute, in her "Good Housekeeping" article about retirement party etiquette. A baker will appreciate new baking supplies or a new apron. A friend who loves journaling will appreciate an engraved pen or personalized notepad. If backyard gardening is your friend's favorite pastime, present him with a gift basket filled with garden tools.

Experiential Gifts

Encourage your friend's newly found freedom with a gift that will give him a new experience. People love experiential gifts, because they help build new memories, explains psychologist Ryan Howell, Ph.D., in his article about giving experiential gifts for the holidays. If you want to give your friend an experiential gift, consider tickets to a concert, museum or cruise. Or, give him gift certificates to his favorite restaurant. For the ultimate surprise, send him on an all-expenses paid mini vacation.

Gifts that Pamper

An afternoon at the spa will be a much-needed gift for all the years your friend put in at his job. Retirement is a time to be pampered and a gift card is one way to pamper your friend, explains Robert Powell in his article, "Pamper the Retiree in Your Life." A spa gift card will give him the opportunity to schedule his own pampering time. Alternatively, a certificate to a barber shop will allow your friend to celebrate retirement with a fresh look.

Gifts for the Traveler

Your friend may be ready to explore the world. Travel gifts are ideal choices since many retirees travel, explains Emily Brandon, in her "U.S. News" article about retirement gift ideas. Give him items specific to his travel aspirations. If he is planning to travel internationally, give him a translation guide. Consider gifting a luggage set or travel accessories. Maps, a travel alarm clock and travel-sized accessories are all practical gifts for the friend who is looking to travel during retirement.