I went to the Human Resources department at work to clear up a last financial question. I wanted to change my beneficiary so that if I should die before I retire and John is still alive, my retirement benefits would go to our kids instead of to John (this has to do with getting things out of his name in case he has to go on Medicare). I was worried that because they are young they would get a trivial amount per month. Instead, I was told that if they get the benefit they split a monthly benefit for their lifetimes that is 3/4 of what John would get per month. So they would get a lot more over their lifetimes.
John is safely in Washington DC and I am enjoying the quiet.