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You've been getting varied but good advice from several people. We're both past 70, so what I say may be of little help, but here's our experience:

We both left the working force around age 59. She was a teacher who had to care for an ailing mother (with me) and I was a middle manager who was laid off unexpectedly. I did consulting for 2 years, and kept COBRA for 18 months, as suggested, but it was VERY costly. We had NO carryover health insurance.

Around 60, I shifted to Blue Cross for both of us. It was $325/month , with a $3,000 deductible, as I recall. (Remember, this was 10 years ago!) Within 3 years, the rate doubled to over $650/month for two of us, and the deductible went up, too! We hung in there until I reached 65 and Medicare; she hit that 6 months later.

Thankfully, Medicare now costs us just $96/month EACH, and we use AARP Medigap to cover most deductibles; the AARP plan is $330/month for both of us combined. So our monthly costs are just over $500. There is no free lunch, but we're awfully grateful for Medicare and the Medigap plan.

By the way, life insurance virtually ceases to exist at our age, even term insurance! (Forget "whole life".) I used to carry $100,000 term reasonably, but when you reach certain age plateaus, the premiums jump, until, at 70, the costs go through the roof. (Understandably, obviously.) Those "cost per unit" things you see are absurd, too. (Who wants to --- or can -- pay $200+/month for a $50,000 policy on Social Security?) Those "offers" end up being outrageously expensive, so we have none now. Just have to look to our other resources (IRA's) to some day cover funeral costs.

Good luck. You're wise to ask questions and look around before jumping.

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