In more recent years, health care premiums were deductible, which made the pain a little easier to bear. However, with the advent of Obamacare, you could get a tax credit for your health care premiums. You could get about 70% of your premium money back, so long as you didn't make a lot of money.
Myself, I have been tapering off for some years now, to the point where the overhead costs (malpractice insurance being the big ticket item) is pretty large compared to my income. For the diminished returns, it almost isn't worth it.
One problem with early retirement and Obamacare is that if our income does go up over $63,000 a year, not only will we be knocked into the 25% tax bracket, we lose the Obamacare subsidy, which is $12,000 a year. So, for example, if we sold the condo, we would be socked with a hefty capital gains tax bill, which might push us over the limit for that year, causing us to lose the Obamacare subsidy - in effect, a windfall tax on the capital gain.
But I think I will pull the trigger on this thing and start winding things down now with the goal of getting out by the end of next year, or before my malpractice insurance is due in March.
It is a tough decision, but I am excited to go to more places and do more things and not have to worry about responses due and docketing cases and whatnot.
EDIT: A reader chastises me for having such an expensive lifestyle. However, when planning retirement, you need to pad your budget for contingencies. I am using a target of $50,000 a year as that allows us to keep our Obamacare subsidy and also is the median income in the United States. One should be able to live comfortably on that amount. In reality, we likely would spend far less.
One thing we eventually plan on doing is downsizing, but not for at least a decade or so. We are looking actively at future retirement options - smaller houses in communities that are more set up for retirement. Since we have no children to rely on to "put us in the home" we can't just stay in our current home forever.
Others wrote to say that retiring was a bad thing - that I would be bored without a hobby, etc. However, I presently work only 20 hours a week (if that) so I have been slowly sliding into this for some time. If I get bored, I am sure I will find something to do. Having too much time has never been a problem for me.