The 14 Best Retirement Gifts of 2021

A chapter is closing, mark it with a thoughtful gift

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon

"The revamped Kindle is the most compact, convenient design yet."

Best Book: A Book That Takes Its Time at Amazon

"With more than 300 pages, the colorful book encourages creativity and a bit of introspection."

Best Plaque: LoomLetters at Etsy

"The custom piece of wall art is quick and easy to purchase, but something the retiree can look back on for years to come."

Best for Wanderlust: Anywhere Travel Guide at Amazon

"The deck of cards feature fun activities that encourage you to take a gamble."

Best Luggage: SwissTech Hard Side Check Luggage at Walmart

"Quality luggage can cost a penny, but this one combines fashion and function and stands out from other bags."

Best Laugh: CoatneyCreations Retired Socks at Etsy

"These socks are comfortable, but also a lighthearted laugh for the person who’s worked hard their entire life."

For the Foodie: Mouth Wellness in a Box at Mouth

"The curated box of treats that range from healthy to decadent is sure to be a hit with all foodies."

Best Massager: Mo Cuishle Shiatsu Shoulder Massager at Amazon

"Try this for the relaxation of a professional massage from the comfort of home."

For the Homebody: My Retirement Personalized Blanket at Personalization Mall

"A soft throw that has their name written all over it. Literally."

For the Creative: Canon PowerShot G7 at Amazon

"The camera has features a pro would love, but it’s also easy enough for a novice to use."

Retirement is the end of a chapter, but it's also the start of something new. This moment should certainly be rewarded with an amazing present. Depending on if your retiree is more sentimental or appreciates a good laugh, there's a gift for everyone.

If you're still stuck on what to buy, here are the best retirement gifts.

Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite

Relaxing with a good book won’t be a problem with the Kindle Paperwhite. The revamped design is lightweight (less than 7 ounces), thin, and has a glare-free display. A single charge can last up to six weeks and the waterproof design means you can comfortably take this to the beach or pool and not worry about any splashes. Font size is easily adjusted and you can even connect to Audible and listen to books versus reading them. 

Best Book: A Book That Takes Its Time

A joy of retirement should be having the time to reflect, relax and have fun. “A Book That Takes Its Time” provides just that. The pages are full of writing prompts, opportunities to doodle, essays on life and love, notecards, and so much more. It feels like a chic, colorful scrapbook. With more than 300 pages, this is a book that actually encourages you to tear out the pages, write in them, and get lost in your thoughts. 

Best Plaque: LoomLetters

LoomLetter Retirement Plaque

Courtesy of Etsy  

A simple card that everyone signs wishing the retiree well? That’s not a bad idea, but you can take that one step farther with a customized, printable plaque from LoomLetters. The poster includes the recipient’s name and date of retirement. You select the size and the color and print it out. This is great for those last minute gift ideas that don’t look last minute or rushed. Have friends and family sign and add a special frame to really make it stand out. It's truly a unique piece of wall art.

Best for Wanderlust: Anywhere Travel Guide

Retirement can mean traveling without having to worry about PTO. A fun gift for a travel lover is this deck of cards. Each card features a fun prompt that encourages interaction and new experiences. They can range from “Buy coffee for a stranger” to “Ask a stranger his/her favorite street.” These prompts can be great for an introvert looking to get out of his or her shell or the cards can be fun on a group trip. 

Best Luggage: SwissTech Hard Side Check Luggage

SwissTech Hard Side Check Luggage

 Courtesy of Walmart 

The retiree in your life who wants to explore may need a new carry-on suitcase—and this is a solid option. The price won’t break your bank and the quality is enough to withstand countless trips. The sleek design features a chrome-like finish and black accents, so there’s no worry of bag mixups in the overhead bin or at the carousel. Both sides of the interior are spacious and even include a wet pouch, garment bag, and pockets. 360 degree-swivel wheels make navigating any space a breeze.

Best Laugh: CoatneyCreations Retired Socks

CoatneyCreations Retired Socks

 Courtesy of Etsy 

Some gifts are expensive and elicit tears, but others, not so much. And that’s absolutely okay. If your funds are limited but you want to gift a chuckle-worthy present, these CoatneyCreations socks are it. On the surface they just look like regular black crew socks. But the sole of the feet reveals a cute phrase: "I am retired. Bring me the remote." The cute, comfortable socks will be perfect for wearing around the house.

For the Foodie: Mouth Wellness in a Box

Mouth Wellness in a Box set

Courtesy of Mouth 

Who doesn’t love an edible gift? Mouth has a variety of tasty gift boxes for every palate. You could build your own gift box, but the pre-selected curated sets are pretty amazing as well. You can even shop based off of dietary needs, like kosher or gluten-free. Try the Wellness in a Box that’s packed with granola, turmeric, digestive bitters, and more. Or the Wedge Fund, which includes a variety of cheese, crackers, and salami from independently owned American businesses. 

Best Massager: Mo Cuishle Shiatsu Shoulder Massager

The services of a weekly masseuse can be expensive and not exactly convenient for most schedules, but gifting an at home massager can solve that. This top rated product has eight different modes to relax sore muscles. Three different speeds allow for easy adjustment of intensity and the auto shut off ensures it doesn’t overhead. The massager can be worn in a variety of ways, over the shoulder, on the stomach, back, or legs, so all achy areas can be treated. 

For the Homebody: My Retirement Personalized Plush Fleece Blanket

My Retirement Personalized Fleece Plush Blanket

Courtesy of Personalization Mall 

Wrapping up in a good blanket is something most people enjoy doing at the end of the day. Measuring 50 x 60 inches, this fleece blanket is meant for cozy nights. But the true standout is the personalization. Add the recipient’s name or initials and with up to 15 lines of text, throw in a message or phrases of your choice. The fleece is a great option, but the blanket is also available in sherpa or a sweatshirt material as well. 

For the Creative: Canon PowerShot G7

Many people take great photos with their phone these days, but nothing can substitute the quality of an actual camera. Canon’s PowerShot is a 20 megapixel wonder that captures crisp photos and videos for all of life’s moments. Continuous shooting makes it great for action shots and the tilted monitor can help your budding photographer snap interesting angles. The camera is high on features but easy to use and compact for travel. 

Best for Fitness: Fitbit Charge 3

The variety of fitness apps and trackers can make it hard for someone to decide on a purchase. Make the choice easier by purchasing the Fitbit Charge 3. It tracks a range of health aspects, including 24/7 heart monitoring, sleep, and floors climbed. The retiree can set fitness goals with the exercise modes and there’s even the option to set a reminder to get moving when they’ve been sitting for too long. The display is easy to read and check daily results. Also, a single charge can last up to a week. The water resistant design comes in handy for swimming or just showering. 

Best Gift Card: Groupon

Groupon Logo
Groupon Logo. © Groupon, Inc.

Sometimes you just don’t know what to buy someone and in that case, a gift card can be a perfect option. Groupon offers a range of products, services, and even experiences so a gift card can truly come in handy. Select your desired dollar amount and email to the recipient or mail them an actual card. These can be redeemed for anything on the site, but for a more specific card, buy one that can go toward a travel deal, dinner, shopping, or more. 

Best Thoughtful: Top Shelf Retirement Wish Jar

A truly sentimental gift a retiree will love is this wish jar. While it’s a simple glass jar, the contents inside are what make it special. It comes with 100 wish tickets that you and others can fill out for your hopes, dreams and you guessed it, best wishes, for the new retiree. Seeing a jar full of sentimental notes is sure to warm the recipients heart and give him or her something to refer back to on a regular basis. 

Best Artistic: US Art Supply Acrylic Painting Table Easel Set

Painting can be super relaxing and this easel set includes everything to get your budding artist started. Not only is there an adjustable wooden easel, but a small brush set, 12 highly pigmented acrylic paints, mixing dish, and a canvas. The 21-piece set is affordable and sure to get your retiree painting some happy little trees or whatever else their imagination can draw up. 

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