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11 Thoughtful Retirement Gifts They'll Actually Use

10 Thoughtful Retirement Gifts They'll Actually Use
Design: theSkimm | Image: Maude, Alex and Ani
October 18, 2022

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If someone you know is celebrating their retirement, it may be tricky to find just the right thing that says "congratulations" — but also won't be stuffed into a corner of their closet after they've opened it. So we've rounded up retirement gifts that are both thoughtful and super-practical: things they'll look forward to using as they enter this new chapter of their life and have a bit more free time on their hands, no matter what their interests are. We've got ideas for the world traveler, the gardener, and more. Congrats to them.

retirement gifts
NewWoodCreations via Etsy

A personalized photo album for all the new memories…

This new stage in life is a big one, so photo ops are a must. Engrave this wooden photo album with “happy retirement” or something simple like their initials or name. Choose from eight different kinds of wood colors and paper types — including watercolor or large artist paper — and tack on an additional pack of paper if you think they’ll need it. Pair it with this Polaroid camera so they can instantly capture the album-worthy moments they won’t wanna forget. ($55+, NewWoodCreations via Etsy

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retirement gifts

A set of tub soaks for top-tier relaxation…

Since regular pampering is officially back on the schedule. This set comes with nourishing mineral bath salts meant to soften and rejuvenate and a hydrating coconut milk bath designed to detoxify and improve circulation. It’s available in three different scent options (like warming amber or fresh eucalyptus) and both products are vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free — and 100% guaranteed to get them in a relaxation state of mind. BTW, if they love it, snag them the monthly subscription and save 20% on your orders. ($36, Maude)

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Retirement gifts
Uncommon Goods

A gardening tool bag and folding chair in one…

If they love tending to their garden, make things a little easier on their knees and back with this gift — so they won’t have to hunch over their plants or lug a heavy tool box around. This seat is made from lightweight steel and sturdy nylon, and comes with 21 pockets for different-sized tools plus a large catchall interior. Add on this tool set if their hobby is a newer one or if they could just use some fresh equipment. ($46, Uncommon Goods)

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retirement gifts

The only carry-on they’ll need for their upcoming travels…

Away has garnered a cult following for a reason. This piece of luggage is built to fit in the overhead storage of most major airlines and lightweight enough to easily pop into a car or take on public transportation. We love the durable outer shell and interior accessories — like the laundry bag, TSA combination lock, and compression system built to store more. They’ll be able to fit anywhere from six to nine outfits for their next adventure. ($295, Away)

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retirement gifts for him

And the ultimate coffee table book for a travel lover…

This New York Times book is based on its popular “36-Hour” series and is full of advice for planning a weekend trip to 130 different cities in Europe. Each vetted guide to a 36-hour stay includes photos, maps, and insider knowledge from Times contributors — with nearly 500 restaurant and 400 hotel recs throughout. All they’ve gotta do now is book their trip. Bon voyage. ($30.49, Amazon)

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retirement gifts

A pair of socks that says it all…

After decades of being on the grind, it’s time for them to kick up their feet and lounge in style. These socks may become your retiree's new favorite accessory thanks to their hilarious message. They’ve got a non-slip bottom and come with a one-size-fits-most stretch. Help ’em welcome in the world’s longest coffee break with a laugh. ($12.99, Amazon)

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retirement gifts for her
ActiveDesingTX via Etsy

A retirement gift that’ll make anyone who sees ’em in it smile…

If you know someone ready who’s ready to live a life of leisure, this is the sweatshirt for them. It comes in unisex sizes from S to 5XL and in eight colors, and it’s got a classic fit. Psst…this should only be washed inside out, on delicate, to keep it in tip-top shape. ($25.20+, ActiveDesignTX via Etsy)

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Retirement Gifts
Great Jones

The only bakeware set they’ll ever need...

Now that they’ve got more time to experiment in the kitchen, set ’em up for success with this seven-piece baking set. They’ll get one sheet pan, two bread molds, two cake molds, one pie dish, and one casserole dish. They’re all dishwasher- and oven-safe and come in two bright color options. Cobblers, loaves, cakes, and cookies OTW. ($215, Great Jones)

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Retirement gifts for him

A mug that embodies the retiree spirit…

Pouring their morning brew into this mug will hit different. Personalize it with their name, and choose from 10 different colors, the mug style, and its size (because sometimes 11 ounces just doesn’t cut it). Pro tip: If they can’t function without their bev of choice, there’s also a traveler mug so they can take it on the go. ($16.75+, Zazzle)

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retirement gifts

A seasonal plant subscription to build their collection…

They’ll get one box a month with four seasonally potted plants. In the spring, they can expect herbs and veggies, later in the summer they’ll get annuals and perennials, and in the winter they’ll receive indoor plants. Each plant ranges in size from 2 to 6 inches, and comes expertly boxed. It’s the perfect gift for both seasoned green thumbs and new plant parents, thanks to the included care cards in each box. ($41.67+/12 months, Cratejoy)

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Retirement gifts for her
Alex and Ani

A charm bangle to commemorate the special event…

If your retiree likes to accessorize, this simple charm bracelet — featuring a beach scene set on a pink background — might just become their new fave. It’s got a shiny, nickel-free silver finish and a wire bangle that can expand from 2 to 3.5 inches. It also comes in a gift-ready envelope with a greeting card–style packaging so you can pen a personal note. ($45, Alex and Ani)

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