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Planning Retirement Online

Choosing Presents

Choosing presents for people, whether they are friends or relations, can be very difficult. This is especially true at Christmas, when we will probably have many presents to buy, and when we buy presents for our fellow over 50s. After all, what do you buy for the man or woman with everything? So this Guide will give you some ideas that will hopefully make the process easier and give you some good ideas.

It doesn't claim to be comprehensive; how could it be? So you will also have the opportunity to tell laterlife your own ideas for presents. In particular, you are invited to tell laterlife about the best present you ever received and the best one you ever gave.

This should help inspire your fellow readers!

Choosing Presents links

When we buy presents, the chief objective is to give the person something that we believe they will enjoy. It might be something transient or it could be something to keep over the years. Whichever it is, the criterion is that the person will enjoy receiving it. This, in turn, should increase our pleasure in giving it.

So how do we try to ensure that they will enjoy it? The most obvious answer is to ask them! However, if you like to give surprises or you know that they like surprises this might not be the best option. Think about it, though. It's the best way of ensuring you buy the right present. If you decide not to ask them, here are some tips for choosing a present they will value:

  • Listen to what they say in normal conversation and make a note of any clues you get

  • Think about their hobbies and if there is anything you can buy that will help them enjoy one of them

  • When you are buying for grandchildren, involve the parents

  • Ask other people what they think the person would like

  • Start looking early. You don't need to buy early, but the earlier you start looking the better.

  • Use all the sources of presents: the Internet; catalogues that come through the post; advertisements in the newspapers and on the television; and, of course, good old fashioned shops.

In some ways it is easier to buy presents for people whom you know very well because you can pick up the clues much easier. You can subtly try to guide conversations round to the topic of presents and you will overhear what they say to other people. Take advantage of these opportunities but do make a note of the hints and clues that you get so you don't forget them.

On the other hand, buying for those people you know very well, such as your partner, may be more difficult because you may have completely run out of ideas! So ask other people what they think - if it's for your husband or wife, your children will probably be able to come up with some ideas. You may even be able to share a bigger, more lavish present with your children rather than everyone buying one smaller gift.

To get you started, take a look at the Celebrating in Later Life section and you will see many references that provide suggestions for presents. Just click on the ones you think will be helpful and have a look at the wealth of ideas on those pages.

If you would like to help make this Guide even better, either fill in the feedback form or visit our Later Lifestyle Network and tell us any ideas you have. In particular, tell us about the best present you have ever given or the best one you have ever received. We'll then add your ideas to the Guide.

Now read the rest of the Guide by clicking on the links in the box. It will ease the dilemma of trying to choose the perfect present.

This Guide to Choosing Presents is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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