20+ Special Retirement Gift Ideas for Women


Cake values integrity and transparency. We follow a strict editorial process to provide you with the best content possible. We also may earn commission from purchases made through affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more in our affiliate disclosure.

It can be tricky coming up with gift ideas for some people. That’s why so many of us turn to gift cards for restaurants or big box stores. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is sometimes nice to choose items that are more personal, especially when a special woman in your life is retiring.

Overview: Our Top Picks

Cheap Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

Practical Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

Easy Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

Jump ahead to these sections:

People usually only retire once, so it can be a big deal. Acknowledging their time in the workforce and their contributions to the company is important. It’s likely the retiree spent a significant portion of her time at the office. She probably considers it a huge, and important, part of her life. Try to take that into consideration before you purchase anything. 

If you know the retiree well, you probably already have a gift in mind. If you don’t know them well try to find out as much about them as you can. This will help you avoid embarrassing situations.

You wouldn’t want to buy a bottle of champagne for someone who doesn’t drink. Or buy a gag gift for someone who won’t appreciate the joke. You can look at your coworker’s social media pages to see what is important to her.

If she doesn’t have social media, consider going in on a gift with some of your other colleagues. A shared gift can be more meaningful, and allows you to pool your money to get something more substantial. 

Regardless of how well you know the retiree the following list can help you think of gift ideas for them.

Cheap Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give the perfect gift. Sometimes the best gift doesn't cost anything at all. Here are some ideas for inexpensive retirement gifts.

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

1. Office memorabilia

Does your company have a long history of serving your community? If so, find a unique item from the company’s past to give to the person who is retiring. This could be as simple as an article of clothing, a piece of vintage letterhead, or an old piece of advertising. 

If the retiree has been working at the company for most of her career, she has spent a lot of her time there. She is probably proud of her history there. Honor her contribution by giving her something that reminds her of her time with the company. 

2. Framed photo

If your company hosted a lot of events, there are probably a lot of photos floating around. You might be able to find office snapshots taken from the retiree’s early days with the company.

Surprise her at the retirement party by presenting her with some framed pictures or a photo album. The retiree will love walking down memory lane and looking back at all the people she worked with. Everyone will get a kick out of the professional clothing of the previous decades.

3. A bundle of thank you notes from coworkers, clients, and customers

Ask the people in the office to write down memories of the person retiring. You could also reach out to clients or customers that the retiree worked with over the years and ask them to write notes.

Buy a simple scrapbook and create a book of these letters. This gift will cost very little, but it will be a treasured possession for the one who receives it.

4. Charm bracelet

Buy an inexpensive charm bracelet for the woman who is retiring. Find charms that easily connect to the work the retiree did. You could also try to find charms that depict the number of years the person worked. Or you could even choose charms that represent office jokes.

You may have to make this purchase online, especially if you are looking for hard-to-find charms. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy this gift.

5. Bird feeder or birdseed

We all know the stereotype of how much senior citizens like watching birds. Why not celebrate that stereotype by buying a bird feeder or birdseed for the person who is retiring?

She may look at it as a joke gift and laugh. Or she may be delighted at the idea of drawing more birds to her backyard. Regardless of how she takes it, everyone wins especially the birds.

6. Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ subscription

Now that your friend is retired, she will have all the time in the world to binge-watch TV shows. Before purchasing this gift make sure your friend doesn’t already have a subscription. You may want to provide your friend with a list of shows that you think she would enjoy.

This gift would be especially nice if your office bonded over a love of certain TV shows. You could consider giving her a list of the staff’s favorite TV shows. That way, she can finally know what everyone was talking about! 

7. Books

Is the retiree looking forward to having more time for reading? Give her a stack of books that you have enjoyed. Your friend probably won’t mind receiving used books.

Similar to the subscription gift, provide her with a list of everyone’s favorite books. That will keep her reading for quite some time. And you can add a bookmark with a quote about retirement to personalize the gift further. 

Practical Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

There are practical gifts and there are less practical gifts. Some women love receiving less practical gifts, while other women enjoy gifts that they can use during their retirement. If you are purchasing a gift for a woman who appreciates functional items, here are some ideas.

8. Carry-on bag

Does the retiree have a list of travel locations on her bucket list? Buy a cute tote bag that she can use as her carry-on when she flies to her destinations. Make sure the bag has a zipper, so whatever things she has inside don’t fall out while the bag is stored.

And make sure it’s the right size. There are so many options out there, it can be hard to know the right size. But the salesperson at the store should be able to help you. 

9. Sunglasses

Everyone needs a nice pair of sunglasses. Not only is this gift practical, but if you choose the right frames, it can be a little fun as well. It’s probably best to avoid this option if the person in question wears glasses.

They’ll need specific lenses for their sunglasses, and probably already have a pair of sunglasses they love. 

10. E-reader

Perhaps the retiree would enjoy an e-reader. She could not only use it while traveling, but it would be helpful to have at appointments as well.

This gift is perfect not only for readers but for game players as well.

11. Gardening tools

Is your friend excited to spend more time with her flower or vegetable garden? Buy her some new gardening tools. Make sure to purchase more practical items, as well as some that are only for decoration. You may want to include some plants or seeds in the gift as well.

12. Puzzles

Is your friend worried about how she is going to fill her days after retirement? Buy a puzzle for your friend. She may develop a new hobby from the gift.

And who doesn’t love getting lost in a puzzle on a snowy, winter day?

13. Socks

You can’t give a more practical gift than a pair of socks. Buy a pattern that reflects the personality of the retiree. For an added gift, try purchasing socks from a company that gives a pair to the needy for every purchased pair.

14. Robe or PJs

Your friend will love drinking coffee while wearing her new robe. She will smile as she thinks of her old coworkers navigating through crazy traffic to get to the office.

She will probably text you a selfie showing off her fuzzy slippers to brag about her new lifestyle.

Easy Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

Is the retirement party this afternoon? Do you have a gift yet? Here are some items that you can grab quickly to commemorate your friend or coworker’s special day.

15. A plant

Run to your local florist, nursery, or grocery store. Find and purchase a healthy and low-maintenance indoor house plant. Most people appreciate having several plants to decorate a room.

If you aren’t sure how sturdy the plant you’re considering is, check the tag. It should tell you how much water and sunlight the plant needs to thrive. 

16. A gift certificate to a spa

Run to a local spa or nail salon on your lunch hour and grab a gift certificate for the retiree. If you can, figure out how to include a tip in your gift.

That way, your friend doesn’t have to think about that when she goes. It’ll be relaxing and totally paid for!

17. Amazon gift card

You won’t even need to leave the office to purchase an Amazon gift card for the person who is retiring. The giftee can choose to buy practical items with the gift, or something special just for her.

» MORE: Online obituary that is 100% free. Honor a loved one beyond a newspaper.

18. Cash

We know that money isn’t the most exciting gift in the world, but it will do in a pinch. Ask others to contribute to give the gift more "umph." If you have time, you can consult Pinterest to find a unique way to present the gift to the retiree.

19. Accessories

It doesn’t take long to purchase a cashmere scarf or a pair of gloves at a local department store. You could also consider jewelry, such as a necklace or earrings.

Not only do you not have to sort through sizes, but most department stores will wrap the item for free. 

20. Water bottle or coffee cup

We bet that there is a coffee shop located less than a mile from your office. Buy a high-end water bottle or travel coffee mug. Everyone needs to stay hydrated. These gifts are easy and practical. And they’re good for the environment!

Unique Retirement Gifts for Women

What do you get for the person who has everything? Maybe you’re struggling to find a gift for someone with a unique taste. Here are some more out-of-the-box ideas for gifts for the retiree.

21. State-shaped cutting board

Decorative pieces in the shape of a state are popular right now. Consider purchasing a state-shaped gift that can be decorative and practical — a state-shaped cutting board.

Selecting the state may require that you know the retiree well. After all, she may be currently living in New Jersey, but her heart may be in Texas.

22. Clock

A clock is a traditional retirement gift, but this unique wall clock made of paper curls caught our eye. You can choose among a variety of color palettes. This clock may appeal to someone with a unique sense of style who enjoys decorating with bold colors.

23. Martini glasses

Does the woman retiring enjoy preparing a cocktail at home every once in a while? Then she might enjoy these hand-painted martini glasses.

24. Stained glass

Your friend may have beautiful items hanging on every wall of her home. Instead of buying a decorative piece that would require valuable wall space, why not purchase a beautiful piece of stained glass to hang in front of a window?

25. Custom pet portrait

Does your coworker’s desk feature more photos of her pet than her family? Then, she may appreciate a custom pet portrait. You can hire a pet artist from Etsy or contact a local artist near you. 

26. Floating plant shelf

Think about your friend’s hobbies. For example, does she spend her off-hours tending to her plants? We like this unique floating plant shelf.

Or you can introduce your plant-lady friend to air plants and purchase these unique planters shaped like mannequins.

27. Embroidery art

Does your friend appreciate quality craftsmanship? Consider a unique or personalized piece of embroidery art. Again, Etsy is your best resource to find the right piece for your friend.

28. Coffee artwork

You’ve seen the framed pieces that have pithy sayings about drinking coffee. But here’s a unique gift for a coffee addict. This floating coffee cup looks like it is floating in mid-air as coffee is spilling from the cup. Your friend is sure to get a lot of compliments on this unique piece. 

Luxurious Retirement Gifts for Women

We all know those women who never do anything for themselves. So why not force them into a little decadent behavior by purchasing a luxury item to celebrate their retirement?

29. Laurelbox

Laurelbox creates beautiful gift boxes with luxury items. The retiree may feel pampered receiving this luxury herbal tea set. You can also customize a box to include things that your friend would never purchase for herself.

30. Fluffy bath towels

Do you suspect your friend has been using the same bath towels for twenty years? Life’s too short for that! Purchase new, fluffy bath towels and encourage your friend to use them!

31. Olive oil

Does your friend love cooking? Purchase expensive olive oil or vinegar from your favorite local or online retailer. They may find they can’t go back to grocery store olive oil ever again.

32. Crystal vase

Every woman needs a beautiful vase to hold cut flowers. Purchase a crystal piece to honor the retiree.

33. Watch

A watch is a traditional retirement gift. Select a watch and have it engraved if you know the retiree’s style.

34. Diamonds

Depending on your budget for the retirement gift, why not purchase a diamond pendant or diamond earrings for the retiree? Someone who has dedicated their lives to a company deserves an heirloom-quality piece of jewelry.

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

35. Artisan chocolates

Some older adults near retirement age wish to reduce their possessions. If the retiree is downsizing, purchase a consumable item that they would enjoy. For example, why not buy a box of artisan chocolates?

36. Cashmere sweater

Purchase a luxurious cashmere sweater for your friend who is retiring. This gift is practical but luxurious. 

37. Boutique hotel stay

Send your friend off on a romantic getaway at a nearby boutique hotel.

38. Perfume

Do you know your friend’s favorite scent? Purchase a gift box of her high-end perfume.

39. Purse

Do a bit of sleuth work to find out your friend’s favorite handbag designer. Then, purchase the latest design in your friend’s favorite color.

40. Tea kettle

Your friend may enjoy luxurious items with practical uses. For example, a Mackenzie-Childs tea kettle will look fabulous sitting on your friend’s range. 

41. Cocktail machine

A cocktail machine can best be described as a Keurig for cosmos. This is a unique, luxury gift for a retiree who enjoys an occasional drink.

42. Throw or blanket

Purchase a luxury throw or blanket from a high-end store for the retiree. We like this Ugg throw, and it comes in five colors!

Personalized Retirement Gifts for Women

Of course, you take some risk when you purchase personalized gifts for a retiree. If she doesn’t appreciate or need the present, she may not be able to return it for store credit. 

If you are sure you have a good handle on the retiree’s style, here are some personalized gifts to consider.

43. Initial necklace

An initial necklace is an understated piece of jewelry that your friend may wear every day. There are a lot of designs on Etsy!

44. Charcuterie board

Help the retiree make an adult version of Snackables by purchasing a charcuterie board with your friend’s last name. 

45. Personalized beach towel

Does the retiree plan to spend more time at the beach now that she isn’t working every day? This Turkish beach towel can be personalized. 

46. Tumbler gift box

This gift box caught our eye. It includes a personalized wine tumbler, a luxury candle, and a succulent — all things we love!

47. Photo sock

Do you want to make sure your friend doesn’t forget you? Put your face on a pair of socks for the retiree. Of course, you could also use their pet’s face or their grandchild’s face if you think she might enjoy that image more.

48. Personalized garden stone

Do you need a gift for someone who has everything? Purchase a personalized garden stone with the names of their children, grandchildren, or pets. 

49. “Never Too Far To Wine Together” Wine Glasses

Are you losing your work buddy? You may feel sad that you’ll no longer be able to complain about your workload, boss, or coworkers with your friend who is moving out of state. If so, check out this unique set of wine glasses. You’ll keep one of the tumblers and give the other to a friend. Then, you can meet up over Facetime to share a drink while you reconnect with your friend. 

50. Skyline necklace

Is your friend moving after retirement? Send her off with a customized necklace that features your city’s skyline

51. Morse Code jewelry

You probably have seen Dot and Dash designs at your local gift store. These gifts can be personalized with a message and “tell the inspired stories of the women who wear them.”

52. Custom house portrait

Is your friend moving from her current home after retirement? Hire an artist to do a portrait of your friend’s house. 

Finding the Right Gift

Do none of these gift ideas seem appropriate? Why not get a subscription to a retirement magazine for your friend. Many women still enjoy flipping through magazines while drinking coffee in the morning.  

Does it seem as if retirement is ages away for you? Most retirees remark how quickly the years pass, so it will be here before you know it. 

Even if you are young, it is not too early to start preparing for retirement. It is also never too early to start end-of-life planning. No one is guaranteed a set amount of time on this Earth. Make sure you make your desires known to your loved ones.

Let your family know whether you would rather be buried or cremated. Pick the music that will be played at your funeral. Don’t think of this as a morbid task — we will all die one day, so why not face up to it? Also, making your own end-of-life choices is one of the kindest things you can do for your family members. Why not get started today?

Icons sourced from FlatIcon.