We Asked UK Retirees: What Makes A Good Retirement Gift?

What makes the perfect retirement gift?

Here’s a fact. 

On average, a year of work will earn you £2.15 towards a retirement gift from your work colleagues. 

That’s 45 years of service, with £108 to show.

Just let that sink in. 

But, before you decide to give up  and become a hermit, hear us out.

This fact has become a source of panic for me. Partially because of the existential weight of working and mostly because I feel, as colleagues, we can do better. A LOT BETTER. 

That’s not to frown on £108. In the right hands, £108 will take you very far. Enabling you to buy a very memorable retirement gift.

I felt sad because I know, deep down, that we’re probably not putting a lot of care or thought into these retirement gifts. And these people work hard. They deserve thought and effort as a minimum. 

We can definitely take that £108 further. As a minimum. If that’s how it has to be. 

Firstly, ask yourself - what was the last retirement gift I was a part of? 

How did it look?

Did it make the recipient feel valued? 

How did it smell? 

But mainly, ask yourself - could I have done a bit better? Really If I’m being honest? 

Fortunately, we’re here to help amend these errors. By identifying the best elements of a great gift, we can help you make better gifting decisions. 

This one is for retirees. It will be all of us one day. They deserve the best for being great; for serving a lot of time, in a lot of ways. 

In order to present these ideas, I would like to introduce Pat. Pat has worked in our office for 40 years; we’ve been assigned the task of finding a gift for Pat that will put a big smile on his wrinkly face. 

40 years is a long time for anyone to do anything. We must honour this fact as such and give Pat the best send-off that we possibly can. 

What makes a good retirement present? 

What are Pat’s criteria's? 

A retiree painting pots
Photo by Eddy Klaus on Unsplash

As we mentioned - Pat’s worked in this office for 40 years! He’s coming up to 73; he’s finally called it a day. 

Good for Pat. 

So let’s begin at the beginning. What do we know about Pat? 

Pat’s interests? He likes to laugh, he likes trains. He’s been married almost as long as he’s worked in this office. He has four grandkids and two children. Two daughters (I think). 

We’re going to utilise the power of good-gift purchasing principles and deep dive questioning. 

What are the qualities that make up a good gift? You can read our deep-dive article! We asked a  group of Organiser’s what makes a really strong gift? - you can read their suggestions here. 

Let’s begin. 

Funny Retirement Gifts

Funny retirement gifts are a great route to say farewell . Funny retirement gifts for men & funny retirement gifts for women.  What a fantastic language to communicate in. 

By using the power of humour we can open up a door to a more intimate realm of communication. Don’t like being up-front about your emotions? 

Humour is a great way to express sentiment without being entirely vulnerable.

This isn’t about us though. It’s about pat. Pat’s retiring and he doesn’t know it yet, but he craves a gift that will make him laugh and feel valued. All in one. 

It’s now our mission to fix the logistics for Pat and give him a send off that he deserves. 

Did you know? 40 years is a long time to be in employment. Especially in one place. 

Some true examples of humorous gifts: 

  1. A Humorous Card
  2. Decorate The Office (Somewhat offensively)
  3. A Rude Mug
  4. A Rather Lewd Book… 
  5. The Gift Of Nothing

These ideas are thanks to our best funny group gifts blog, which can be found here!

Group Gifts For A Retiring Colleague? 

A grandmother and her grandkids
Photo by Nikoline Arns on Unsplash

Ask yourself. For Pat’s sake - can we think of an awesome group gift?

There’s the standard north thinking. How about a party! No? Okay then, what about a big meal out with the whole team? 

What does Pat enjoy? Can we invite his family? Would he enjoy that? 

The great thing about group gifts is that thanks to Collctiv, they’re in a really strong moment. Collctiv makes it simple to collect money from everyone and bring people together to celebrate. 

With Collctiv, we could all chip in to buy him a fancy weekend away with his family, or how about that expensive new metal detector he really really wanted? - we could afford that.

With Collctiv, that becomes a really strong possibility. 

You can download our free app here and join over 200,000 Organisers in collecting money for group gifts without the hassle! 

Thoughtful Retirement Gifts? 

I’ve previously spoken about Empathetic gifting being the most crucial cornerstone of a strong gifting. 

This applies to Pat and his big send-off. 

Empathetic gifting is all about jumping into Pat’s skin. Ask yourself questions and find out exactly what would make the perfect gift. 

Questions like: 

What does Pat enjoy? 

How is Pat feeling about retiring? 

Why is Pat retiring? Health? Wanting to spend more time with his family? 

Applying this method allows us to become gift buying detectives. We can even act out this madness in real life. 

Lock yourself in a cellar. Brush away the cobwebs and start mapping out ideas and questions.

Okay, maybe not that extreme. But definitely get into the habit of generating questions. This way, we can easily slip into Pat’s mind and find out what gift he will really appreciate and value more than anything else. 

Personalised Retirement Gifts are a good way to do this, as a side-note. 

It helps you to fluff away all of the tack and get down to the nitty gritty of what would be Pat’s ideal retirement gift! 

Conclusion: Buying better retirement gifts

An elderly couple sat on a bench
Photo by Matt Bennett on Unsplash

There we go. We still don’t have an answer for the correct etiquette. For example - what to say at someone’s retirement? 

That one we can sweep under the carpet for now. Pat won’t mind. 

What we have done is covered all the grounds on how to buy better gifts for retirement. The next time you find yourself collecting for group gifts or retirement gifts, or anything that requires you to collect money. Think of Pat, and how we can make stronger gifting decisions to buy a memorable present they will cherish. 

As always, if you’re considering a group retirement gift, download Collctiv today and see how we can help remove the hassle from collecting for group gifts. 

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