When it comes to buying retirement gifts for Dad, it can get complicated. While many kids love their parents, that doesn’t always mean you “get” them.
If you’d like help figuring out the best retirement gifts for your father, we decided we could help. Join us as we review a few of the best retirement gifts for dads.
Idea 1: A Cruise
The average man retires around the age of 64 (with women averaging two years younger than that). The odds are good when your father retires, he’s going to be a bit older and a bit more tired than he used to be.
One of the most desirable aspects of retiring is that you can now take a break. While there’s plenty of ways to do that, one of the best is a cruise.
The odds are good your father would appreciate a long trip on a nice cruise, where little is expected of him and he can relax.
The exact form this cruise might take will depend on your dad and your budget. Some fathers might appreciate a big family cruise. Others might want to get away from it all, kids included.
Whatever the case, remember this is your dad’s retirement gift. Go with the option he’d enjoy the most (or venture to ask what he’d prefer if you’re really worried you’d choose wrong).
Idea 2: An Engraved Watch
This may sound strange for those unfamiliar but watches tend to carry a strange reverence among American men (and plenty of women too). Something about our culture seems to put a lot of value on a good watch.
This all said, you don’t need to go out and buy your father a Rolex if that isn’t in the budget. The important part is making the gift feel like a genuine gesture in appreciation of what is a pretty important occasion.
Our recommendation is either custom-ordering the watch or buying a watch within your budget and then having it engraved. Where you look for the watch depends on your budget.
The cost to get an engraved watch varies enough that there is an option at pretty much every price point. A simple wooden engraved watch might cost you 70 dollars while a real Swiss masterpiece could cost upwards of 5 grand.
You may also want to spend a bit extra on a nice wooden case for the watch as well. Many people who receive gifts like this prefer to use them as a decorative object rather than wear them and a nice box makes that easier.
Idea 3: A Simple Gesture
Some people don’t like gifts. Some fathers may be uncomfortable receiving anything from their children. So what’s a good choice when these dads retire?
The best retirement gifts are tailored to who will receive them. Some men don’t want much. Oblige them; gifts are for the receiver.
Consider sending your father a nice message. Just as WishesAlbum.com lets you text birthday wishes for Father, you can also use the service to text him for his retirement.
You might also hug your dad or congratulate them in person. It’s also worth noting this particular idea is not exactly expensive! If you think your father would like more, you can do this idea and another one.
We have a habit of giving gifts as a replacement for open expressions of love and appreciation. It is okay to let down one’s guard on occasion. It should be okay to tell your father you are proud of them and you love them.
Idea 4: A Camping Trip
Camping can be a great, inexpensive way to connect with family. Unlike other family trips, camping has a pretty low barrier to entry; renting a site for a day is unlikely to cost more than 45 dollars or so.
While that isn’t the only expense (you still need food and camping supplies), a camping trip doesn’t need to be expensive to be enjoyable.
Like many of these other ideas, the ideal camping trip will of course depend on your father. Does he enjoy a rugged outing in the winter wilderness? Or would he prefer a spring trip at a family campground with all the amenities?
Camping can be great fun but we’ll note a few caveats. First, make sure your father would like to camp. Second, make sure you prepare for the weather; choose sleeping bags and tents appropriate to how cold it might get.
For a little more, you can also instead rent a cabin. It can offer a similar vibe to camping but is much easier in terms of prep and comfort. If your dad’s back makes the ground a hard sell, it may be the better choice.
Idea 5: Top-Shelf Whiskey
Maybe even more than watches, Americans have a soft spot in their heart for good whiskey. Why not get Dad some for his retirement?
Whiskey is one of the funny retirement gifts few would buy themselves but many would love to have. Many people have an interest in “luxury-tier” consumables but get put off by the price.
Top-shelf whiskey doesn’t have to be very expensive; 90-140 dollars will net you a bottle of something respectable. Of course, if you and Dad make big money, you can find bottles much more expensive than that if you so desire.
As for how to enjoy the drink, that’s up to you (or at least up to your father). Most would say an expensive whiskey is best had neat if you’ve never tried it but, to be honest, we say use ice if that’s what you want to do.
One option for the prepared would be to use whiskey stones. These are stones that can be cooled in the freezer, serving the same purpose as ice but without any risk that you might dilute the flavor.
Idea 6: A VR Rig
This is an option that is a bit odd and we admit won’t be for every dad. Not every 64-year-old is tech-savvy enough to even turn a VR rig on, let alone enjoy it.
At the same time, if you can make sure your dad has an interest in new tech, VR is another indulgence many avoid spending on but would love to have.
For those not in the know, VR rigs are devices which allow a person to play around in virtual reality (VR). By using a special headset and pair of controllers, the rig can make it feel like you’re actually in a virtual space.
Even if your father doesn’t play games, this can allow for other experiences all but impossible even a few decades ago. There are virtual tours where you can see the moon or under the sea. The possibilities are endless.
Many who hear about this technology assume it to be a fun gimmick but it’s more than that. Unless someone has worn this technology, there is almost no comparison to be made.
When choosing a rig, you have a few good options to choose from. Our current recommendation might be the Valve Index at $1000 but the technology evolves enough that you should do your research before buying a rig.
Idea 7: Movie or TV Memorabilia
The odds are pretty good there is a show or movie your father loves. Luckily, almost every piece of media ever made has some kind of memorabilia for sale.
In terms of retirement gifts for men interested in that sort of thing, it’s hard to go wrong at any price point. At the low end, there are posters and figurines. At the highest end, you may even get props seen on screen!
These sorts of gifts tend to be pretty safe too. Unless your father is a minimalist, most people enjoy getting a neat reference to something they like. (If you’re worried, go small so that you can guarantee they have the room.)
We will recommend you try to aim for your father’s favorite media properties when buying props. It’s neat and all to get some memorabilia for a show you saw once and sort of liked, but you may as well aim for what they like most.
Idea 8: Something Practical
A lot of the ideas presented here today are fun, one-off experiences or nice things your father could use but doesn’t need. For our final idea, we’ll suggest you go practical.
If your dad doesn’t like knick-knacks or going on trips, figure out something practical that would really help him out.
This is a bit open-ended since the exact gift should depend on what might help the most. Some quick suggestions include power tools, a maid or yard service, or getting his car repaired.
The benefit of these gifts is they’re really convenient! You might worry it won’t feel sentimental enough but if you save your dad some hard work and hours of time, that’s a pretty darn good gift.
Retirement Gifts for Dad Come in All Shapes
When buying retirement gifts for Dad, what you want to do is answer one question: What will he like? If your dad likes the gift and you put your heart into it, you’ll do fine.
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