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6 Unusual Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

By Margaret Manning September 04, 2021 Managing Money

If you’re looking for unusual retirement gift ideas for women, I have you covered! Of course, the classic idea of a retirement gift is the “gold watch,” given by companies to retiring employees after decades of faithful service. But today, with more women over 60 reaching the end of their full-time careers, what are some more appropriate and thoughtful retirement gifts for women?

How to Think About Retirement Gift Ideas for Women

Retirement is a concept that is changing. It no longer necessarily means the end of our working lives – it just means the end of a full-time job. Most retired women over 60 still need extra income, so they may retire from a full-time corporate job – and happily celebrate that “retirement” – but still want to do things that are productive and profitable.

Other women might want to use their retirement years to pursue new interests, explore a creative passion, or even start a new business or non-profit organization dedicated to a favorite cause. In other words, retirement is not the end but the beginning of the next stage of life for a woman.

We need a new concept of retirement gifts for women that enable people to start a new chapter and celebrate the transition. The gift should be an expression of her individuality and a meaningful show of appreciation – not just flowers or chocolates!

Some ideas for unusual retirement gifts for women might include:

Experiences Before Things

Most women over 60 don’t want more “stuff” to clutter up their homes – but we often crave new experiences and adventures.

A good retirement gift idea for women might include fun and interesting experiences. Here are a few ideas:

virtual wine tasting

Anything that’s unique and matches her interests and personality.

A Little Pampering Goes a Long Way

Many women want to reinvent themselves after retirement, and part of that process often includes a fashion makeover and personal pampering. Good retirement gifts for women might include gift certificates for a spa day, hairstyle, or makeup consultation.

spa finder

Note, giving a makeover might not be an appropriate retirement gift for a colleague – it might be a better gift for a family member. You don’t want to give the gift in such a way that the woman feels like you are implying she needs to update her look!

Instead, talk about the gift in terms of pampering, indulgence, and allowing her to finally get taken care of (after working so hard all these years to take care of everyone else).

Gift certificates to her favorite store is another great gift option. And it’s always fun if someone does give you a gift certificate and says, “Let’s go have a cup of tea or coffee and you can enjoy spending your gift.”

I think a gift certificate, along with sharing someone’s company while shopping, is both unexpected and very clever. Spending time with loved ones is a great gift for any age.

Handmade soaps and handmade skincare products are also a perfect gift for older women. We don’t tend to splurge so much on ourselves, so those little items are truly special and lovely!

etsy handmade soaps

Consider the Gift of a New Skill

For women who are planning to pursue new creative interests in retirement, a great gift is to give them some tools of the trade – paints, brushes, colored pencils, and more. Some of the best retirement gifts for women are things that can actually be used!

She may want to learn something new. Offer her access to online classes.


What About a Gift of Health and Balance?

We all know that as we get older we need to stay socially engaged. A great gift that involves both social and health benefits could be a yoga or Pilates class subscription. Or, if your loved one would prefer, a DVD or online video course that will help them stretch and do healthy exercises at home.

A different kind of healthy gift could be a supplement or special food that you know your loved one or friend is interested in. How about a thoughtful gourmet gift basket?

gourmet gift basket

Gifts for Women from Fair Trade Organizations

Fair trade organizations help women improve the standard of living for their children and families. Many international organizations help women by giving them access to sell their goods.

Ten Thousand Villages is a great destination for ordering unique retirement gifts from faraway lands and supporting local artists.

ten thousand villages

With a motto of “look good and do good,” the site Global Girlfriend offers sparkling images of woman artists from around the globe, with beautiful hand-crafted gifts at reasonable prices sure to delight. They offer adorable hand-stitched cosmetic bags for a mere $10.00. Each is unique and lovely.

She’ll feel good knowing that her retirement gift went to help empower women in their work.

Help Her to Celebrate Her Memories as She Looks to Create New Ones

It’s never been easier or quicker to create fun, professional-looking videos and digital photo scrapbooks and slideshows to commemorate the retirement of a valued colleague. Get a team together to spend a few hours collecting photos to scan and add to the collage.

Walk around with a smartphone camera to collect reminiscences from people around the organization to share a favorite story of working with the woman who’s retiring. There are many ways to make this gift memorable, touching, and inspiring as a way to say “thank you” and “good luck” to the new retiree.

Print out a book with photos of her through the years.


Make a “This Is Your Life” presentation of personalized newspaper pages from significant dates in her life or use humor to write a spoof newspaper “Announcement” with fake (but hilarious) quotes from the retiree, her manager, and her team.

Retirement parties are a great opportunity to share old stories and inside jokes.

Or give her a personalized “World Traveler Map” with pins and notes to commemorate the places she’s visited during her career – or the places where she’s planning to travel next!

world traveler map

What do you think are the best retirement gift ideas for women? Are there any gift ideas that you think are best avoided? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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