Being Thoughtful About It
When it comes to retirement, though appropriate, the word is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. Yes, a person is retiring from the job they’ve been at for however long, but they’re embarking on a new journey into a different chapter of life, a different “act” in the “play”, and as the old bard said, all the world is a stage.
So it’s very important to secure appropriate retirement gifts for the person who is entering this final act in the performance of life. Some enter it earlier than others. Think about this: if you start working full-time at the age of seventeen, get married, and keep at it, by 37 you could be primed to retire from that company. Different gifts are appropriate for different situations.
The Diverse Retiree
If you started working with Facebook on the ground floor eighteen years ago, very realistically, you might be near retirement. Meanwhile, if you work at one of the open-pit quarry mines extracting bituminous coal in Wyoming, you may start work at 20 and stay at the mine averaging $5k+ a month for fifty years.
In those diverse scenarios, retiring individuals will be at different places in terms of physical and mental maturity, and their designs on retirement may well differ along those lines. So if you’re trying to get a gift for the tech entrepreneur who hit it rich quick and jumped out when he or she didn’t need to work anymore, that’s going to be a different family of gifts.
A Gift That Matches the Situation
You need to match what you give not only to the situation, but to the person central to that situation, and the unique characteristics which define it. Sometimes retirement is the beginning of a person’s true career. They work half their life obtaining capital, then use the latter half in applying that capital toward some end goal.
What has your friend or family member always talked of? Have they dreamed of traveling the country in an RV and visiting all the national parks? Is it their prerogative to put half the earnings they’ve made in a piece of real estate, turn it into a passive income generator, and then use the rest of the money to live large?
Appropriately Commemorating the Occasion
For the traveler, maybe you want to give them a gift that commemorates the journey they’re about to embark on. For the entrepreneur using saved funds for capital, you might want to buy them something practical related to their goal. Maybe they’re about to put some money into a film project. Buy them a director’s chair and a bullhorn for fun. You get the idea.
The sort of gift you get a retiree depends on the retiree. How long have they been working, where have they been working, what level of achievement defines the work they’ve done, and what are their plans? Answer these questions, and you’ll be able to narrow down which gifts you buy to those most appropriate for the friend in your life on the threshold of retirement.
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