Retiree wish list: 9 gifts that mom & dad actually want
With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are scrambling to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. And in many cases, it is the adults – especially retirees like our parents – that can be the hardest to buy for. But have no fear, help is here! With gift ideas from affordable to splurge-worthy, here’s what we’re betting your loved ones are hoping for this year.
- Family keepsakes: Remembering and reflecting on great times with family often becomes even more important in retirement. Scrounge through personal photos to create visual keepsakes mom and dad are sure to love in the form of coffee table books, calendars, digital picture frames, magnets, and more. The ideas are endless, and online tools make it quick and easy to create a customized gift. The holidays can also be a great time to listen to and record stories of older family members – and what a great gift for next year!
- Nostalgia: A walk down memory lane is something we can all appreciate. Take the retiree in your life back to her childhood with a favorite game – Parcheesi, Tiddlywinks, or Jacks might do the trick – or wrap up a Raggedy Ann doll or some Army men. You might also consider a box set of TV shows like "I Love Lucy" or "Gunsmoke" or DVDs of cinema classics like "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" or "Lawrence of Arabia".
- Experiences: Of course, retirees don’t want to spend all their time thinking about the past; it’s important to create new memories too! Plus, studies show that buying experiences tends to elicit more happiness than material goods. So find a concert, an athletic event, or a play that your parent would enjoy, and buy tickets for you both.
- Social time: With kids out of the house and no more days in the office, it can be a challenge for retirees to meet new people. Consider the gift of dance lessons, art classes, or a gym membership to facilitate new friendships or help your parent get signed up with an online meetup tool like Stitch.
- Entertainment: Mom and dad might have a bit more time on their hands now that they’re retired, so consider gifts that will keep on giving when it comes to entertainment. An e-reader or a tablet can be good options, as well as a subscription to a streaming video or music service.
- Monthly treats: Another example of a gift that outlasts the holidays is a monthly subscription box. Delivered to the recipient's door, these packages are curated for almost every interest or hobby imaginable, from stationery to snacks to beauty products to pet treats – there’s even a box designed specifically with grandparents in mind. If you know a retiree who loves to experiment in the kitchen, consider signing them up for a local CSA to get fresh fruits & veggies or a weekly meal-prep kit.
- A helping hand: We all have those chores we keep putting off, whether it’s taking the car in for an oil change or cleaning out the attic, you can help your parents attack their don’t-want-to-do list by offering yourself as helper for the day or covering the costs of an auto mechanic, house cleaner, plumber, etc.
- Safety & independence: If your parents are older, you might be worried about their health and safety when you’re not around. And while being protective is certainly understandable, it’s also essential to respect their independence. Fortunately, technology that supports both of your needs is becoming more and more common. This year, you can gift a discrete emergency response device or the True Link Card to defend against fraud and scams.
- Financial planning: There are a lot of resources out there when you are saving for your retirement, but what happens when you are already retired? This holiday season, you may want to talk to your parents about their financial plans and whether they have a trusted advisor to help them manage their money. If not, or if they just want to explore their options, you may want to point them towards True Link Financial Advisors. They can see our investment methodology in action by learning more about our free planning tool and scheduling a consultation with one of our advisors.
We hope this gift guide serves you well this holiday season. Happy shopping!