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Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Is one of your office pals or team members getting ready to retire? After working together for years, or maybe even decades, it’s bittersweet when they hit that last day. You’re happy to see them move on to their next adventure, but you also want them to know they’ll be missed. 

Coming up with that perfect gift for a retiring coworker can be tricky, but know this: Everyone loves to be appreciated. To show a colleague, friend, working wife or husband, or that helpful guy who always fixed your printer that you value them, choose a gift that shows you are thankful for the positive impact they’ve had.

The key is to make it personal by thinking about who they are and what they enjoy. What did they do on the weekend? What stories made them light up? A generic tchotchke will get thrown in a drawer, but if you base your gift on what they truly love, your colleague will feel your thoughtfulness coming through as they transition into a new phase of life. 

Here’s our list of the best retirement gift ideas for a coworker. It’s a mix that hits all the notes from appreciation and memories to celebration and looking forward.

For the Golf Lover

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

If the retiree is a golfer, this is a great group gift from the team or department. You can add as many bells and whistles as you like, but start by considering their skill level. Do they play an easy nine hole course once in a while? Or, are they hitting the links every weekend trying to perfect their game? You don’t want to give intro lessons to someone who fancies themselves a Tiger Woods.

That said, lessons are always welcome because everyone can benefit from some pointers. If they’re a novice, go for the beginner package. A seasoned player would appreciate a few one-on-one sessions with the Golf Pro at a respected course.

Next, add in some fun extras. For the serious golfer, consider a monogrammed golf towel in their favorite color, personalized golf balls and leather (or quality vegan) golf gloves.

For the novice who loves watching golf more than playing a round, include an assortment of golf-themed leisure toys such as a club-handled barbecue set, freezable golf ball whiskey chillers and socks with a golf-related saying (“Shh, I’m watching golf” is one we’ve seen.)

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Tourist in Your Own Town Package

Retirement gift Ideas for a Coworker


With leisure time to spare, a great retirement gift idea for a coworker is a package of goodies that will remind them about all the fun that’s right at their fingertips. Make up a Tourist in Your Own Town Package that features some local sights they didn’t have time to take advantage of while working nine to five. 

Start with a guided tour that matches their interests. Think of things they’ve talked about and do some research. Most towns and cities offer tours that showcase local tourist highlights, but dig a little deeper to see if you can find some lesser known treasures that residents might not even be aware of. Search for “behind the scenes,” or “after dark” tours. 

Remember to consider the giftee’s activity level. For more active folks, look for bike and walking tours. A Segway or boat tour is appropriate for those who enjoy a more passive experience, whereas adventure-seekers will appreciate a ride in a helicopter or even in a small plane (check local airports). To make your coworker feel extra special, consider a custom-designed private tour that offers a luxury VIP experience.

Once you’ve nailed down the main event, add in a few treats that go with the theme of the tour. Again, make sure they match your coworker’s interests. 

Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Private Museum Tour – pair with a  museum membership and a piece of artwork by a local artist or a gift certificate to a local gallery. 

Guided Nature Walk through a prized park or scenic area led by a guide who knows the ins and outs of the terrain and history of the site – add a backpack, water bottle and, if appropriate, an annual pass to the park. 

Culinary Tour of a Public Market (similar to Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia or Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle) – pair with a foodie gift basket of local specialties, a gift certificate to a venerable restaurant (or a new one that everyone’s dying to try), and/or cooking classes if your coworker is a home gourmet.

Romantic Tour – if your colleague has talked about looking forward to spending more time with their spouse or partner, this may be the perfect retirement gift for a coworker. Pair with a weekend stay at a posh, local Airbnb and a bottle of bubbly.

Again, this is about the retiree’s specific interests. If you go with a more touristy tour, you can always get a gift card to a nice restaurant close to where the tour begins or ends.

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Spa Experience

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker - a spa experience

Treat your esteemed (and probably tired) colleague to a full-on pampering experience with a half or full day at a local spa. Most offer package deals that include a selection of services with a complimentary glass of wine or lunch. Consider a souped up massage, like hot stone or aromatherapy, along with a pedicure or reflexology session. Add a back scrub or facial, and spring for the glass of bubbly and fruit plate. 

Your coworker probably wouldn’t do this for themselves, so they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. When they’re all gooped up with cool cucumbers on their eyes, they’ll be silently thanking you as their stress melts away. This luxurious indulgence will help them relax and ease their transition into retirement.

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Retirement Memory Book

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker - Retirement Memory Book

Nothing says “we appreciate you”, and “you will be missed” like a customized gift that captures the sentiments of the givers and the good memories shared among colleagues. A unique retirement gift idea for a coworker, the Retirement Memory Book hits these marks by presenting personal notes and special photos in a beautiful, bound format. It’s a book they’ll cherish and return to again and again.

You can customize it in many ways, including selecting a special photo and title for the cover. This thoughtful gift can sit on the coffee table to remind them of their years of service and what an important contribution they made to both the company and the people who work there.

Best of all, The Retirement Memory Book is easy to put together. No need to pass around a large card and colored markers for this one, just ask colleagues to write congratulations, memories and best wishes online. They can write as much or as little as they like; all the pages will look cohesive and professionally produced.

Photo pages can include one special image or a grid-style layout of multiple images. You can even upload scans of newspaper clippings, handwritten notes or award memorabilia. Think about how pleased your coworker will be to see copies of special commendations or awards (or glowing letters from supervisors) alongside well-wishes from the team.

Books come in soft or hard cover. They’re generally up to 200 pages, but various upgrades are available. The book is printed and shipped to the recipient directly (including internationally, in case your coworker is already gallivanting around Europe), or to the organizer who can wrap and present it during the farewell party.

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Classes for the Lifelong Learner

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker - Classes for the Lifelong Learner - Art classes - Guided Art Museum visit

Some retirees aren’t interested in going gently into the “novel and nap” life. They’re still hungry for knowledge and are excited about pursuing their passions. These days, you can find classes about nearly any subject, both online and off. 

Did your working wife always want to take painting classes? Has your office mate chewed your ear about learning how to speak Italian? Does your team member yearn to learn how to ski or surf? Maybe a series of yoga classes at the local studio is the perfect way to say: “Do something good for yourself as you’ve done for us for so long.” Bingo, you win at finding a truly thoughtful retirement gift for a coworker.

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Photo Album

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker - Photo album

With so much time on their hands, the perfect retirement gift for your coworker might be an old-school photo album. Sure, they’ve got hundreds, or probably thousands, of photos on their phone, but the special ones should be preserved in a way they can easily view, appreciate and show people (sans scrolling). 

Find an album that holds lots of photos in easy-to-insert pages (gluey ones ruin the pics over the years). Make sure it’s archival, and of course, make sure the design and style match their specific tastes. 

Yes, it’s a long-term project. Maybe it’ll give them a break from that 1000-piece puzzle laid out on the card table in the den.

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The Quality of Time

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker


Consider that maybe your colleague, especially if they’re older, is worried about losing touch with the people they’ve spent so much time with over the years. They’ve built relationships, including with you, and all of a sudden they are not seeing the same familiar faces every day. That might feel disorienting and upsetting to them, despite all the promises to “keep in touch.”

Give a different kind of retirement gift to a coworker by scheduling a monthly “date” to get together. Treat them to dinner at the local pub, go for a walk or meet for a Saturday morning coffee. 

During your time together, update them on what’s going on at the office, including how Kate is still fostering twelve cats and that the boss has finally hired a social media consultant. 

Don’t forget to ask your coworker (now friend) how they’re doing and what they’ve been up to.

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Art Supplies

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker - Art supplies

Many people have dreams of exploring their creativity “when they finally have time.” Give your colleague a solid start with a personalized kit that includes art supplies, a how-to book and maybe even a gift certificate to a local or online art class

If you know what medium they’re interested in trying, gear it toward that. For example, a budding papier-mâché artist would appreciate a collection of handmade papers, a couple types of polymer and a book that includes instruction and inspiration photos.

Maybe the retiree in your life has a creative urge but doesn’t quite know what they want to try. Look for an artist set online or at a local craft supply store. These contain a variety of media such as oil pastels, water colors, tempera paints and colored pencils. Add a sketchbook and some inexpensive canvases (fine for beginners), and throw in an intro level technique book to complete the package.

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Relaxation Staycation

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker - Relaxation Staycation

Maybe the perfect retirement gift idea for a coworker the gift of…doing nothing. Or close to it. Let them revel in their wide open schedule by giving them a few of the latest best-sellers, a Netflix subscription or a journal with a lovely pen. Add a cheerful mug and box of lavender tea (maybe with a jar of local honey) or a few bottles of their favorite wine.

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“Of the Month” Club or Subscription

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker

Retirement Gift Ideas for a Coworker - “Of the Month” Club or Subscription

Give your retiring coworker the gift that keeps on giving by enrolling them in a club where every month they receive a new treat that will surprise and delight them. There are clubs for just about everything these days, so this is the perfect way to show you know and appreciate their personal interests. They’ll be reminded of you and your thoughtfulness every month.

Here are some of our favorites: 

For the Gourmand: artisan cheese, craft beer, international bites, gourmet chocolate

For the Bookworm: classic books, new releases, premium tea or herbal tea, handmade cookies

For the Home Cook: recipe with ingredients, oils & vinegars, small batch of hot sauce  

For the Traveler: travel accessories, explore a different city each month, learn a language

For the Spa Lover: luxury bath items, essential oil candles, wines of California (or Italy, France, i.e. their happy place)

For the Nester: sustainable flower bouquet, micro-roasted coffee, indoor plants or outdoor bulbs, pet-focused products, projects for kids (for retirees who are excited to spend more time with the grandkids)

A gold watch used to be the standard gift for 25 years of service, but time has marched on. Today, people use their phones to check the time, and once they’ve retired hopefully they’re not as concerned with what time it is anyway. 

This phase is about them having the freedom to enjoy life in new ways. It’s also about feeling appreciated and proud, and your personalized gift will help them see and remember the positive impact of their service. 

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The key is to make it personal by thinking about who they are and what they enjoy.