There are lots of parallels between one’s career and a nice ocean cruise. There’s the planning, the navigation, the smooth seas and rough currents. And then at the end, there’s a return to port for rest.

retirement gift silver wrapped
Photo by Pete/comedy_nose, Flickr.com

The waning days of one’s working career are filled with special events and kind farewells. If you’ve been on the receiving end of retirement recognition, you know how special it is to receive something that commemorates the dedication you’ve shown to your employer and the work you’ve done there.

Of course, what makes it even more special is when that memento came from a group of your co-workers and you know that everyone chipped in on the gift.

If you’re on the giving end of that retirement gift, there are a number of things to keep in mind to make it meaningful.

Share the Love…

Getting together with other co-workers allows you to buy a nicer, larger item rather than a number of small items. Depending on your budget, this could run anywhere from a cruise to a beautiful item for the home. What’s most important is to make sure that loyal ol’ John or devoted Susan gets something enjoyable and thoughtful.


Just avoid the pitfalls common to group giving. Make sure you contact everyone who might be interested, make plans to receive payment up front, and be diplomatic in choosing the item. You might do better to go with a tasteful co-worker or two to select the item, then return to the rest of the group for approval and money. Too many cooks spoil the broth!

Go Personal

It doesn’t have to be a solid gold plaque illustrating the key times in the retiree’s career, but when you can find an item that is associated with the type of work you do or the places the job has taken the honoree, it becomes far more meaningful and is more likely to achieve what you want, which is to give the retiree some special memories of the people with whom he or she worked.

Watch the Calendar

We’re on a schedule here. Bob’s last day is coming, and don’t count on him dropping back in for a tardy gift. Coordinate with those who may be putting together a retirement party and make sure that whatever you have chosen as your gift will be available and complete by that date.

You will also want to make time allowances for the vendor to deal with errors, damage, or shipping problems. All the good reasons for a late gift won’t fill the empty space on the gift table, so be smart.

This falls back to the gift-giving committee and requires them to get on the job ahead of time. It also illustrates the need to have that committee, because it is nearly impossible for fifteen people to settle on a gift in a timely fashion.

It’s a lot of fun to provide a retiree with a gift that truly touches them. A little advance work and smart planning will make it happen.

Lifecruiser Love Giving Gifts

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