I often find that when I post with a serious concern or question, by the time I get to the end of what I want to say I already have the answer.
Perhaps that's the case here. I see some things in your post that seems to be crucial to your decision:
...where I live, life at work has become intolerable. It is not my direct supervisors or even my co-workers. The requirements that are being forced on us "from the top" are driving us to the edge.
I have lived here since 1980 and my wife was born here. She can retire, but I have 6 years left before I can receive full benefits (30 years) from the retirement system.
I guess that I know deep down that it is truly time to leave and that I'm not running away for the wrong reasons. The stress and pressure is intolerable to the point that I feel if we don't leave soon one or both of us will have a heart attack or develop stress-related cancer.
But conditions continue to get worse by the day. I actually hate getting up in the morning and facing the day. At the same time, I can't continue the pace that I am doing because it is wreaking havoc with my pain levels and stress levels.
We talked about all this privately two years ago, and clearly things have not improved and will not improve in the near future. The whole issue of "the system" wanting something for nothing and with little or no staff support will just grind on until you retire or until, as you say, something goes seriously wrong.
I know making a move will be rough, but as you say, your wife can retire already. I would look at this in terms of what's really important: your health and the quality of your relationship with your wife. All the rest can be rebuilt somewhere else where you can feel sure that these two basic needs are secure. I would give a move serious thought, talk it over with the missus, and then go for it.