Can you split the difference and retire at 63.5? That's what my dad did back in the 1990s. He switched to COBRA for 18 months which gave him uninterrupted coverage to Medicare age.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.
"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"