One of the benefits of retirement is it opens up new possibilities for gifts. Whether it is for yourself, a friend, or a loved one; here are some ideas for holiday gifts that are fun and appropriate for the retiree’s new station in life. In fact, in case you get asked to make a retirement speech, your friend might like the present better than your speech.
Golf – Lots of people get more serious about golf in retirement. Check out these ideas:
– Medicus swing trainer. If you have a perfect swing this tool stays in one piece. If you are like me, it breaks in 2 pieces at the end of the backswing. Get it to stay in one piece and you have trained the perfect swing.
– Imprinted golf balls. Most pro shops will imprint a name or 3 initials on a dozen golf balls either for free or a modest extra charge
– Golf books. There are lots of great golf books. For funny and good try “Spikes” by Michael Griffith, “The Best of P.G. Wodehouse” by P.G. Wodehouse, or the hilariously funny (and true) “Who’s Your Caddy” by Rick Reilly. For a funny mystery, try Roberta Isleib’s golf mysteries like “Putt to Death”
– Hybrid clubs. If your newly retired person doesn’t have a hybrid club, get him/her one. Thanks to hybrids, no amateur should ever hit more than a 5 iron again (that is, don’t hit a 2, 3, or 4 iron unless you want to score badly). Note: hybrids generally come in degrees instead of numbers. Your golf pro will be able to relate them, but generally a 19 degree is equivalent to a 3 iron, a 22 degree to a 4 iron.
Gadgets – These may appeal more to men than women – the state of the sexes being what it is.
– TomTom or Garmin GPS system. Some folks say the TomTom is better, but both are significantly easier to use than any previous models you might have seen. They start at about $400. They offer a windshield mounted (detachable) system that has a touch screen; some are voice-activated. Optional traffic advisory services alert you to and show you how to get around tie-ups before you hit them. Great for when you are touring the country looking for that perfect retirement community!
– Wrist mounted GPS. Perfect for runners and bikers. These very cool systems tell you your pace/how fast you are going, display your route, and give you your heart rate. Get back home and you can download your entire workout including speed and pulse, overlaid against actual maps.
– iPhone. This is the gadget of the year. Anybody who considers themselves technologically savvy should have one
– Wii. Pronounced “Wee”, this Nintendo set is very, very cool. In fact, retirement communities have been in the news because they have been installing them in clubhouses. You attach the device and simulate the motion for any sport (bowling, golf, tennis, etc), the game takes your input and displays the results on a screen to make it look like real life. Caution: so hot they are hard to find.
Books – Here are some of the best books we have seen on the subject of retirement.:
– “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire” – Elizabeth Armstrong (has good detail from actual people)
– “Cities Ranked and Rated” – Second Edition. By Bert Sperling and Peter Sander. Tremendously useful statistics on 400 cities
– “Where to Retire: america’s best and most affordable places” by John Howells. I like the organization of this book, which is geographical.
– “Retirement Places Rated” by David Savageau. Features extensive ratings of various attributes
– “50+ Igniting a Revolution to Reinvent America” by Bill Novelli
– “Second Careers – New Ways to Work After 50” by Caroline Bird
– “Second Acts” by Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine
– “Silver Nomad: Journeys and Places to Discover in Your Retirement” by Eric Challine. Inspiring ideas for retirement travel, with wonderful descriptions
– “Volunteer: A Traveller’s Guide to Making a Difference Around the World” by Lonely Planet. Practical details about how to choose and get the most out of more volunteer programs take the guesswork out of making a difference.
Let us hear your ideas. Click “Comments” and share your gift thoughts!