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by CareyBot

Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, April 16, 2006. DEAR BOB: About two years ago, we refinanced our home mortgage and obtained a 5.25 percent fixed-rate mortgage. We loved the low monthly payments. Then, about six months ago, my wife inherited enough money to pay off our mortgage in full, which we did. Next, I received an excellent buy-out offer from my employer to take early retirement, which I did. But now my former employer drastically cut my retirement pension and eliminated health care coverage. As I am only 63 and my wife is 57, we are not yet eligible for Medicare. I took early Social Security, but that doesn't help much. We are rapidly eroding our savings, which were drawn down when we paid o...