Best Retirement Gifts For Dads: 7 Tips That Will Make Him Shed A Tear

Retirement is a significant and emotional milestone for your father; any gesture from his child will mean the world to him. However, after numerous birthdays, Father’s Days, Christmases, and other occasions where you have given your father a gift, you might find it challenging to find the perfect retirement gift that will surpass them all.

The best retirement gifts for dads are often connected to their future hobbies or travel plans. Alternatively, more traditional yet highly appreciated gifts include:

  • An engraved watch.
  • A high-quality personalized mug.
  • A special bottle to hold his favorite drink.

It is important to note that starting a new life after retirement can be challenging. Therefore, aside from a physical item, the best gift you can give your dad is to help him adjust to his new routine and continue to lead a fulfilling life. Additionally, spending more time with him will be greatly valued.

If you are searching for concrete gift ideas, check out our list of top retirement gifts for dads in 2023.

Retirement Gifts For Dad

For those of you who really want to get this one right, and not only find the best retirement gift for your father but also give him a memorable experience around this milestone, we offer the following 7 tips:

How do I find the perfect retirement gift for my dad?

#Tip 1

Enable Your Dad To Travel & Savor Each Moment Of It.

Most people keep on telling themselves: “One day I will travel”. Well, once you are retired, there are no more excuses like “it’s too busy at work right now” to not do it.

Moreover, these days retired men are even not afraid of being more adventurous when they travel.

So if your dad indeed falls under this category, you can give him that little nudge and enable him to finally see the world.

There are a couple of retirement gift ideas for your dad that do exactly this:

1. Buy Him Airline Tickets

Travel More

If he has been talking about wanting to visit a certain place for years, why not just give him the tickets and send him on his way?

He won’t have the opportunity to find any excuses, which he otherwise might still try to do even though he’s retired.

If you don’t want to spend too much time browsing airline websites to find the best offers, use a site like Dollar Flight Club.

These kinds of sites give you the best deals across all airlines, and when opening the calendar you can instantly see how the prices would vary if you shifted the departure and return dates a couple of days. This takes away the need to run several queries.

2. Gift Air Miles so He Can Choose Himself

Gift Air Miles

Alternatively, if you are convinced a trip is the right retirement gift for your dad, but you are unsure where exactly he wants to go, you might want to check out sites like Skyhour.

This website allows you to gift air miles, which your dad can then redeem to book his flight (among 350+ airlines).

It’s perhaps a little less personal, but a safer and more flexible way to gift airline tickets.

3. Book a Family Trip

Family Trip With A Retired Dad

By the time your dad retires, you and your siblings will be fully grown up and leading their own lives.

Although your parents are, without a doubt, very proud of you and wish you the best, they probably do miss having you around.

That is why organizing a little family trip as a retirement gift for your dad could be a great idea.

Of course, you don’t have to fly the entire family to Fiji.

Actually going back to that same cabin or lake house you all have fond childhood memories about might even mean more to him. You can use Viator to browse and book attractions and activities near your destination.

4. Get Him a Travel-Related Gift

Nikon 5300 A Perfect Retirement Gift For Dads

Add to this the fact that your dad will love to be able to capture his great adventures around the world, and you will see why a camera is such a fitting retirement gift.

Because the world of photography is quite complex, and the camera options are pretty much endless, I want to mention the one option that seems to be a big hit with starting enthusiasts such as just retired men.

It is the Nikon D5300.

When it comes to photo cameras, Nikon is considered one of the best brands out there.

If a photo camera is not for your dad, you can find more inspiration in this post about the best travel gifts for men.

5. Flexsafe Secure Travel Bag

Flexsafe Anti-Theft

Another great travel-related gift idea for retired dads is a gadget that will help them keep their things safe while they’re traveling.

I interviewed dozens of dads and one of the reasons they would refrain from finally taking that big trip is the fear of getting robbed.

Enter the opportunity for a great gift!

The Flexsafe is a locked bag that can be safely secured to its surroundings (like an umbrella, beach chair, etc.). So get your dad one of these and he’ll be able to enjoy his trip with total peace of mind.

#Tip 2

Push Him Towards Future Hobbies With Related Gifts

We already talked about photography in the previous point, but actually, the same thinking can be applied to any other future hobby you think your dad might enjoy.

By giving your dad a certain retirement gift you can actually push him towards a new hobby!

Why would you want to do this?

Well, retirement is a huge moment in the life of any man. His entire life, your dad committed to his work in order to provide for his family. It was a big responsibility and an important goal for him.

When retirement arrives, many men can’t help but feel a bit lost and without a purpose, and the void ahead can look very daunting.

That is why you can help him by guiding him toward new passions or hobbies that he can look forward to and commit to.

So far this makes sense, right?

But now you’re thinking: “which hobby is the right one for my dad?”

Well, this will indeed depend on many personal factors and areas of interest.

But if it can help, I researched the most popular hobbies men seem to take up after they retire and came up with the following list of popular activities:

  • Photography
  • Gardening & DIY
  • Playing Golf
  • Painting
  • Reading 
  • Bird Watching

1. Photography


We already talked about it in the previous point, but even when your parents are not planning any trips, you can still please your dad with a camera or other related gift that might lead him towards photography as a hobby.

2. Gardening & DIY

Bucket Boss Organizer

It’s a stereotype, but dads do love to spend time outside or tinkering around the house.

Give your dad a retirement gift that helps him take care of the garden or home and he will again have found a responsibility, which he will love.

A great example is this tool organizer by Bucket Boss. It fits any standard 5-gallon bucket, and with it, your dad will never lose any of his tools again.

On top, he only needs to pick up and carry one item vs many, which is better for his back.

Alternatively, you can also check out this post on great gifts for the DIY man if you want to see more useful DIY tools and gadgets.

3. Playing Golf

Playing Golf

Unless your father is seriously into golf, I would not recommend getting him a golf gift, as it’s rather cliché.

If he loves playing golf or if he is about to start, you could give him the following golf-related retirement gifts:

  • Personalized golf balls: you can choose the color and the message on the #1 ball in golf. (pro V1)
  • A nice stainless steel flask with his initials engraved. It can become his ‘birdie flask’. Give him a set and personalize it with the names of all his golf buddies.
  • A private lesson with a swing coach on his favorite golf course.
  • A nice putter from his favorite brand.

4. Painting

Painter Starter Kit

Though admittedly not for everyone, if your dad has always shown a nag for drawing, pushing him towards painting could lead to a new passion.

You can gift him his first painting lessons, or send him straight on his way with this very popular deluxe starter kit. It includes an easel, portable legs so he could paint on location, brushes, different kinds of paint, and high-quality canvas panels.

5. Reading

Kindle E-Reader

Another thing we tend to push out in front of us for when we will have the time is to read all those great books by the likes of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky.

You can either go for the basic Kindle, which offers the basic functionalities and no frills, or you can go for the more premium Oasis edition which has a very large 7” screen and high resolution while being waterproof.

An e-reader is a very thoughtful gift for your dad in this area. You can even preinstall an entire reading list on the device to make it complete.

There are many e-readers out there, but I strongly advise going for an Amazon Kindle device.

Although the latter is a bit more expensive, the larger screen and waterproof properties will be highly appreciated as your dad gets older.

6. Bird Watching


Before you start laughing, you should know that this truly is a very popular hobby among many retired men.

So in case you noticed your dad likes birds, and already knows several species by name, this could be an interesting route to pursue.

The number one gift you can give an ornithology enthusiast is, of course, a pair of binoculars. And the clear favorite among starting “birders” is the SkyGenius Optics Spectator.

With a powerful 8 x 32 magnification, fog-proof coating, no-slip grip, and a wide field of view, it’s called out as the perfect partner for birdwatching or any other outdoor activity.

Add to this that it is not expensive at all and you get why this is a winning retirement gift for dads.

#Tip 3

Give Him a Sentimental Gift that Moves Him

As I mentioned before, retiring is a very emotional moment for your dad. That is why, no matter how tough he might be on the outside, it is the perfect moment to give him a gift with more sentimental value.

A great sentimental retirement gift for dads is a scrapbook. He just finished a 30+ year career, so celebrate it by making an overview of his greatest memories and achievements.

Ask mom to help dig up those scruffy pictures from the 70s and combine them in a unique scrapbook. He will absolutely love and cherish it.

Within the same spirit, you can also gift him an object that reminds him of great achievement or milestone.

1. Premium Vintage Scrapbook


Personally, I have a flair for the dramatic, so I would probably go for a premium vintage scrapbook like this one.

The genuine leather binding gives the book a premium touch, making it worthy of all those precious memories.

#Tip 4

You Can Not Go Wrong With A Classic Retirement Gift.

We cannot write a post about the best retirement gifts for your dad without mentioning the classics.

Although these gifts might not be so original, it doesn’t mean they are less appreciated. After all, they are called classics for a reason!

There are many traditional retirement gifts for men, but the two classics we want to call out here are watches and whiskey.

1. Engraved Watches

Engraved Watches

For most people, the top-of-mind retirement gift for dads is probably a fancy watch. The thinking behind this gift is that after all his years of service, a man deserves to own a proper watch to enjoy his free time to the fullest.

Although this is very true, and most dads will appreciate receiving a fine watch, you can make this retirement gift even more special by adding a meaningful message.

Engraving the watch with something in the likes of “a great manager, but the best of dads” can be the thing that makes your dad shed a tear.

2. Swiss Tissot

Tissot Luxury Watch

A classy yet still affordable example is a Swiss Tissot. Although you yourself might be into smartwatches or more futuristic designs where you can see the entire interior mechanism, your dad is probably more old-school.

A classy yet still affordable example is a Swiss Tissot.

3. Longines HydroConquest

Longines Luxury Watch

If money is not an issue, Longines is considered the gold standard when it comes to luxury timepieces.

This watch is scratch-resistant, so it is ideal for daily use if you want.

4. Lepine Pocket Watch

Pocket Watch Tissot

You can also go entirely old-school and give your dad a stylish pocket watch. Although it may be less practical on an everyday basis, its unique character and distinguished history make it a much-loved retirement gift for fathers.

My personal favorite is definitely the Lepine Pocket Watch. It has that distinguished 19th-century look and feel, and you instantly notice the craftsmanship and quality.

5. Silver Slimline 

Slimline Silver Dial Pocket Watch

A slightly different, yet truly exceptional pocket watch is the Silver Slimline by Frederique Constant.

You can open the back, which not only allows a stunning view of the internal mechanics but also provides even more space for a personalized engraving.

6. Whiskey (or his favorite drink)

Macallan 18 Year Old Gran Reserva

Another “classic” retirement gift is a fine bottle of whiskey. Finding the perfect bottle for a whiskey-loving man can be very difficult as you have to know more or less which ones he enjoys.

Moreover, you also have to check your budget, as buying a unique bottle for this special occasion can be expensive.

7. A Macallan 12-Year-Old

A Macallan 12 Year Old

Almost every whiskey fan will claim you can’t go wrong with a nice Macallan. This brand is known to be one of the best Whiskeys in the world and is well received by just about any connoisseur.

These are the best Macallan bottles you can gift, based on your budget:

Obviously, if your father is not a big whiskey fan, give him a special bottle of his favorite drink instead.

8. Engraved Alcoholic Bottle

Engrave Your Bottle

Are you looking for a unique extra touch for an alcoholic gift?

If your budget is between $30 and $100, you can create your own fancy personalized whiskey, vodka, rum, or champagne bottle!

Just pick your poison, choose a font, and your message will be added to the bottle with this nifty bottle-engraving service.

9. Personalized Glasses or Mugs

Personalized Glasses Or Mugs

Perhaps the macallan itself is a bit too much for your wallet? Or maybe your dad prefers another drink? In either case, a great alternative gift idea for his retirement is a set of engraved glasses.

#Tip 5

Make Him Laugh With A Funny Retirement Gift

A retirement party would not be complete without also a healthy dose of humor and laughter. That is why a couple of funny gifts are also very welcome.

You can find many funny retirement gifts with a quick Google search, but here are 3 of my all-time favorites:

1. The Funny Mug

 Funny Retirement Mug

A funny retirement mug will always be cherished. These mugs have fine-quality printing that will not wash away and remain new.

These mugs are made of high-grade white orca ceramic, dishwasher, and microwave safe.

You can add any text or design you like.

2. Retirement Business Cards

Retirement Business Cards

Your father is used to giving business cards to everyone. This gift will allow him to have them again but in a different version.

The pack contains 50 high-quality cards. The cards are packed in a stainless steel case engraved with the word “retired.”

3. A Bucket List Bucket

Bucket List Bucket

Each of us has a bucket list for sure. If your dad doesn’t have one create one for him. This bucket list bucket is elegant and cute room decor.

This shabby chic metal is amazing for collecting special notes or wishes.

Thoughtful gifts are always loved and kept close. So make your father feel special.

#Tip 6

Help Him Stay Healthy & Fit For Years To Come

Although it’s perhaps not the most obvious angle for a retirement gift, you should also consider that in just a few years’ time your dad will be hitting 70.

Whether he likes it or not, good health will very fast become his key priority and worry.

So giving him something that will help him keep his body in good health is actually a great idea.

Here are 3 concrete gift ideas:

1. A Gym Membership

Gym Membership For Your Retired Dad

It is never too late to start going to the gym. Not only will it help your dad avoid high cholesterol and clogged veins, but it will also improve his general fitness level, enabling him to enjoy his retirement to the fullest!

If you’re looking for a great gym for your dad, I recommend 24-hour fitness. It’s a renowned nationwide chain (largest in the world), offering the big advantage of being open 24/7.

Alternatively, you could always go to the local gym and see if they could provide you with a great membership plan & some tailored programs for seniors.

2. Sports Equipment

Sports Equipment

If your dad doesn’t like the gym or if he prefers outdoor sports, then perhaps you can give him some sports equipment instead.

Go for new running or tennis shoes, swimming goggles, or even a yoga mat.

3. Indoor Rowing Machine

Concept 2 Rowing Machine

If budget is not a constraint, you can even go for a full-fledged home training device as a retirement gift.

When choosing a rowing machine, make sure you not only go for quality (so your dad gets proper exercise without risk of hurting himself) but also think about mom and the fact that this device needs a place in her home.

Concept 2 is currently the most popular rowing machine.

4. A Premium Water Rower

Wooden Rowing Machine

Research suggests that seniors are best off with a rowing machine or a dual-action exercise bike. Both are great for increasing endurance while not putting too much strain on the body. 

But if you’re willing to spend a bit more, the look and feel of the handcrafted Water Rower is just way more premium.

5. Assault Fitness

Airbike Classic

Dual-action exercise bikes offer a better workout than traditional exercise bikes as you will simultaneously have to peddle and move your arms.

Assault Fitness is probably the best option available if you’re looking for quality.

#Tip 7

Be There for Him & Take Up the Role as Change Agent

After years of dedicating his life to his profession and career, it will be difficult for your dad to start a new life as a retired man.

Don’t underestimate this part, as research shows that most retired men fear not knowing what to do and, as a consequence, not feeling useful anymore. It is even called out as a possible route to depression.

So to avoid all of this, you will want to help your dad transfer all his newly-won free time into something useful.

You can do this using one of the tips above, such as steering him toward a new hobby or getting him to devote more time to physical exercise.

However, perhaps even the very best retirement gift you can ever give your dad is to just spend more time with him. Even if you live in another state and can’t drop by once every 2 to 3 weeks, just give him a call to hear how he is doing.

Especially in the first weeks after his retirement, you will want to be there for him.

You mean the world to him, so you being at his side during this big change in his life is probably the most helpful and valued gift you can ever give him.

Your father is, and always will be, one of the most important people in your life. Have a look at this 1-minute video to understand why tip #7 is so important!

So there you have it! I hope you found these 7 tips useful, and you are now fully set to find the best possible retirement gift for your dad.  

And who knows, it might even make your old man shed a tear. 

However, if you’re still not completely convinced what exactly to get him, you might find even more inspiration in this top 30 retirement gifts for men.

Looking for More Retirement Gift Ideas For Dad?

If you have comments or questions, feel free to post them below. If you just want to see a list of the most popular gifts in 2023, have a look at our top retirement gifts for men. Or perhaps you want to surprise him with a unique personalized item he can cherish forever?

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Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Emily Scott