If your dad, husband or best friend is about to reach retirement age, prepare for a surprise. The high school class of 1972 isn’t looking to take it easy. A whole new life begins at 66, and the current crop of men reaching retirement age includes Jackie Chan and Hulk Hogan. Retirement offers a long-awaited, hard-earned opportunity to explore new activities. Want to be part of that newfound whirlwind of energy? Here are five fun retirement gifts for Dad and hobby ideas for men that they’ll appreciate.
1. Extra Time for Sports
Far from winding down, men reaching retirement age are more likely to increase their level of daily exercise and throw themselves into fitness. That’s partly because improved diet and health care mean more men are hitting retirement age in peak condition. This might not be the cue to take up high-impact or extreme sports, but popular hobbies for retired men include hiking, calisthenics, and cycling—as well as perennial favorites such as golf and tennis. Any competitive streak in sports extends to gadgets, too. If it’s new and looks good, they’re going to love it.
Gift tip: Pool resources among the family and treat Dad to a road bike. It’s a low-impact activity that is kind on joints but great for cardio and aerobic activity.
2. A Musical and Artistic Renaissance
It’s easy to forget that the man shaking his head at today’s radio playlist once rocked out to the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin. Men retiring from 2020 onward hit their prime in the early 1970s, so retirement is an opportunity to dig out some vintage vinyl and savor the nostalgia. You’re never too old to pick up an instrument or explore your artistic talents. After all, the Stones are still touring. Musical instruments, painting sets, or even class subscriptions are meaningful gift ideas.
Gift tip: Treat Dad to a Fender Telecaster, the iconic guitar that provided the soundtrack to his youth.
3. Crafts and Hobbies for Retired Men
Men who were busy in their 9 to 5 professional lives often look for activities in retirement that will stimulate their minds and sustain a sense of accomplishment. Retirement offers either more time to perfect existing skills or the opportunity to learn new hobbies. If you can’t find your dad, he might well be in the garage, setting out his woodwork tools, or restoring a car or bike. Culinary-minded men will enjoy the chance to polish their cooking skills or learn artisanal crafts, like brewing or bread making.
Gift tip: A craft brewing kit is affordable, relatively easy to master, and a potential source of pride.
4. Into the Outdoors
Ironically, giving up the company car or daily commute is the signal for many retired men to hit the road. This time, however, the goal is to embrace the freedom of the outdoors. It’s why more than a million RVers are of retirement age. Exploring the country by RV or camping outdoors brings the opportunity to spend more time hunting, hiking, and fishing. These activities require time and patience (or the ability to learn it), both of which should be abundant in retirement.
Gift tip: A quality classic hunting knife — the gift that Dad can pass on to the next generation.
5. Understanding the Natural World
After years focused on a laptop screen or spreadsheet, men in retirement can finally pull back and contemplate the cosmos. There are unanswered questions to be tackled, from meteorology to astronomy. Encourage the retired man in your life to tune in more closely to the world around him with a telescope, metal detector or digital camera, for example. What starts with a gadget can often end with a hobby. Of course, there’s a practical reason too. With many retired men also owning a vacation home or cabin - or heading south with the snowbirds in winter, there’s an extra incentive to follow weather more closely.
Gift tip: AcuRite Pro+ 5-in-1 Direct To Wi-Fi Weather Station — the final word on any weather discussion, and the show never ends.
Bear in mind that some men can be ambivalent or even unenthusiastic about the prospect of retirement. A thoughtful, carefully chosen gift to usher in the new era establishes a positive mindset for what should be the golden years, after all.