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My husband is 2-1/2 years older than I. We've worked it out that he will retire at age 66 (December 31, 2006, which is also his birth month), go on Medicare, and I will continue coverage through his company policy under the COBRA rules for 18 months--then also switch to Medicare.

He had always dreamed of retiring early, but some things just aren't possible in this life. We will instead spend the next three years getting ready to retire with a bang. We are taking sailing lessons, and plan to buy a sail boat and live aboard. Over the next three years, we will dispose of "Things" we have accummulated over the 30+ years of our marriage, letting the three children have what they want, and take what they want for their children. The rest will be sold or given away. I have already shipped ten boxes of china and crystal and sterling flatware to our only daughter, and am now starting on the collectibles. It's amazing what a liberating feeling it is! And think what grief will be avoided when the last of us dies--nothing for the children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren to fight over! :)

We have each purchased long-term care coverage to protect our assets, and have had an estate plan drawn up to distribute whatever assets remain when the last one of us dies, so they don't even get to fight about the money. What a shame! (The boat will be sold and the money put in the trust.)

Because of certain pre-existing conditions, neither my husband nor I would have been able to buy health insurance of any kind at any price on the open market, so we just accepted that fact and planned around it.

Now for a question: How many of you would favor national health care coverage similar to Canada's? Five years ago, I would have run screaming in the opposite direction, but today? I'm not so sure I would.
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