What to Give a Retiring Executive

Retiring Executive: It takes an entire career to climb to the top, so many executives remain in their c-suite seats for as long as they can. Here are some elevated ideas

Retiring Executive


It takes an entire career to climb to the top, so many executives remain in their c-suite seats for as long as they can. So, when the time finally comes for a senior business leader to buy a boat and move to Florida, as it were, companies should take the time to celebrate their retirement.

But, what do you give the executive who has everything? When a leader has spent years in their company role, they probably have all the company swag they could possibly need — and then some. Here are some elevated ideas for executive retirement gifts to lavish on your soon-to-be retiree:

Engraved Pen

A retired executive probably won’t be signing quite as many documents as they did when they were working, but a pen is always a useful tool to have on hand. Engraved with the name of the company, their title before retirement and perhaps some well wishes for the years to come. You can find high-quality engraved pens available in attractive sets that are worthy to be retirement gifts. A pen is an excellent option for the executive who seems to have everything already or who tends to be sentimental and enjoys having small tokens to remember important experiences.

Personalized Travel Bag

Travel is top of mind for many retirees, who have saved up for the ultimate, unending vacation. If you know your executive is looking forward to a few weeks, months or years on the road, you should help improve their travel experience with a high-quality, personalized travel bag. Most expectant travelers have all the luggage they will need, but they can benefit from travel storage packs, which help keep smaller sets of items organized within larger bags. Then again, large duffel bags can also be more convenient for short trips. Regardless of the type of bag, you should try to make it special with a printed or embroidered name.

Retiring Executive


Their Snack or Drink of Choice

Some executives gain a reputation for enjoying a particular snack at a particular time every day. Others make their drink preferences well-known at company parties. If you are certain about a particularly well-loved treat, you might buy an overabundance of it to surprise your soon-to-be retiree. Especially if their snack or drink of choice is shelf-stable, you might fill their office to overflowing, giving them enough of their favorite treat to last at least a few months into retirement. Alternatively, you could get them swag to use when consuming their snack or drink, like a special glass or bowl designed specifically for their special treat.

High-quality Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are gifts that keep on giving. Instead of just one box to open, retirees gain as many as you offer in the subscription — a few months or even a few years. There are subscription boxes for every interest: international snacks, book-of-the-month, seasonal puzzles, painting supplies and more. A subscription box that encourages relaxation and rest, perhaps with items like candles, bath supplies, cozy blankets and good books, should be a hit with any retiree.

An Online Course

Some retirees don’t relish the idea of so much unstructured time, and they want to be sure to stay sharp even into their golden years. Gifting an online course in a subject that is interesting to your retiree — but perhaps not directly related to the role they just vacated — is a good way to keep them busy and engaged but not necessarily stressed or overburdened with work. Many retirees like to pick up new hobbies; a course in painting or photography could provide your retiree with something to do in their spare time. Then again, some retirees just like the opportunity to continue learning, so courses in uncommon fields like animal psychology or film theory could be good ideas, too.

A Local Experience

More and more often, people are interested in acquiring experiences as opposed to physical items. Experiences don’t clutter the home but rather enrich the life, providing memories that can be revisited again and again. You should look for experiences in your area that your retiree might enjoy, like a Broadway play they haven’t seen or a hot air balloon ride. You should be sure to purchase enough space in the experience for your retiree and anyone they might want to bring, like a partner or children.

Every executive must step down at some point, and for some, the prospect of a retirement celebration takes a bit of the sting away from the end of their career. The right retirement gift communicates how much you appreciate their lifetime of work and wishes them well on their future endeavors. If nothing else seems to fit, a heartfelt, handwritten card should do the trick.

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