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It used to be a gold watch or the engraved crystal plate that many retirees received from their company after so many years of service. Thankfully, that old-fashioned notion has gone the way of typewriters and Western Union telegrams.

Today, a more personal gift is expected, especially from friends and coworkers who have worked alongside the retiree over so many years.

Knowing their interests, passions and future plans for retirement is a good place to start when considering a gift to bring to the retirement party, but if you're still stuck for ideas consider these expert tips and suggestions for thoughtful retirement gifts that will always be remembered:

  • Photo album keepsake: Give it a theme such as 'Through the Years" or "This is Your Life!" and make it humorous and touching with photos of the retiree at company functions, family outings and group photos.

    E-mail friends and coworkers ahead of time so they can send best wishes to be included the album, and be sure to include copies of any honors or stories about the guest of honor that have appeared in the company newspaper. This idea can also be presented as a PowerPoint slideshow and copied to a CD that the retiree can always playback and cherish.

  • Special interest gifts: If you know that the guest of honor has plans to travel after retirement, give them a bon voyage gift such as a copy of "100 Things to Do Before You Die" or a blank leather photo album or portable USB hard drive with instructions to fill it with all the sites they'll see in their world excursions.

    Depending on their other long-held interests or hobbies, check out other great suggestions in this section at golfer gift ideas, gardener gift ideas or car lover gift ideas.

  • Personalized gifts: These can range from poignant to humorous and may include engraved wine glasses with a special toast to their happy retirement, or a "Retiree of the Year" trophy emblazoned with their name and years of service.

  • Gag gifts: If the retiree is being celebrated with a retirement roast, gag gifts such as denture adhesive, a cane, magnifying glasses, a shawl, or other "old geezer" gifts will only add to the fun.

More tips & advice about retirement gifts around the Web:

8 Tips for Choosing Retirement Gifts - What to bring to the retirement party? Find a good survey of top gifts that they will truly appreciate.

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