I am close to your age and had lower jaw surgery (BSSO) in February, although I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was in my 20s. I had an overbite, approx 7 mm, and excessive wear on my back four molars. No TMJ problems.
I asked the same thing you did: should I just deal with it, or should I have surgery? My upper teeth were very straight from braces earlier in life (call my uppers an A-) and my lower teeth had slight crowding (call them a B-).
I had consultations with two orthodontists and two oral surgeons in San Diego and all four agreed on what should be done. The consequences of doing nothing would have been that my back teeth would have worn away, and the teeth in front of them would wear such that I would essentially lose my back teeth and they could not be replaced. Your teeth basically wear in a way that reflect your bite geometry, and mine was off, as yours seems to be. In addition, my lower jaw being slightly undersize ('retrognathic') gave me a recessive chin, which for men in particular isn't aesthetically desirable. It didn't look abnormal, but it could have been better. So, serious long term dental issues plus cosmetic factors convinced me to do it.
Cost: If you're in the US, you'll need an initial exam/evaluation with the best oral surgeon you can find. If there is a legitimate medical need, they can submit the proper forms to your health insurer and it seems to be generally covered. I'm currently with United Healthcare and they covered it. But be careful -- if the purpose of the surgery seems to be primarily cosmetic then it will NOT be covered. It's possible that you might need to have a BSSO procedure on your lower jaw that would be covered, and might WANT a genioplasty for your chin which you will have to pay for out of pocket. There are huge cost advantages to having both done at the same time, if you elect to go that route -- i.e., the hospital/anesthesia costs would be largely or completely covered due to the approved surgical procedure, so genio could be done concurrently (it's far less complicated than BSSO, Le Forte, etc.)
Consults: I went to two orthodontists, and they can diagnose an overbite in 5-10 minutes -- it's very common. I wouldn't worry about a 10-15 minute visit, but I would recommend seeing 2-3 orthodontists. For the oral surgeon, I think I spent an hour in the office for each initial evaluation. They take x-rays, and I believe each evaluation cost $400 or so -- billed to insurance.
Fear/outcome/complications: I'm fairly healthy for mid-40s -- workout every other day, no weight problems, no real health issues, so I was judged a good candidate for surgery. Did the prospect scare the crap out of me? Yes. I took 4-6 months to weigh the options and make the decision. It's major surgery under anesthesia, and things can go wrong. On the other hand, the surgeon I ended up using has done several thousand of these procedures, so it isn't experimental or all that mysterious. Also, using the rigid fixation hardware (titanium screws, plates) available now the bone healing time isn't as bad as you'd expect.
I had surgery almost exactly 4 months ago, and apart from the nuisance of braces (half of what I eat seems to come out in my toothbrush...) it hasn't been that bad. The first few days ARE that bad -- liquids only, swollen and immobilized lip, compression bandage on my face to control swelling. You will look and feel atrocious. On the plus side, I had no pain from post-op through now, so I was overly worried about that when it wasn't an issue.
The idea of a liquid diet for 4-6 weeks sounds miserable, but bone heals very quickly and what I found was that by the time I was bored to tears of milkshakes, tomato soup, yogurt, etc., I could go back to eating soft stuff -- pasta, fish, etc.
What I "under worried" about were some of the lingering effects of surgery. You will almost definitely have numbness in your chin/lip, and as the rest of you heals that lingering numbness will be annoying. My right side is nicely recovered, left side is taking longer, and it feels a bit like I'm wearing a chin strap on that side of my face. No effect on eating, and no one seems to notice, so it hasn't kept me from eating, going to meetings at work,etc., but it is annoying.
The other worrying thing will be the limited range of motion you'll have in opening your jaw. Initially you'll probably have elastic bands that limit your jaw opening to help it heal in the proper position, but when you're able to take those out during the day you'll feel like you're still wearing them -- difficult to open your jaw far. It takes a few months to recover, and for people who don't there may be physical therapy needed. At 4 months, I feel pretty normal in that regard -- can brush, floss and eat fairly normally. But I still don't order tall sandwiches when I go out to eat.
Doing it solo: I'm single, live alone, no kids, family is across the country. Depending on how independent you are, you will probably be fine without a circle of caretakers. I asked a friend to drive me to and from the hospital (stayed the first two nights post op) because there's no way in hell you could/should drive. I stocked up on liquid diet groceries beforehand, and after 6-7 days post op looked presentable enough to drive over the grocery store for another round of shopping. But for the first days at home I spend a lot of time in bed (on my back), or watching long movies on TV, reading, gaming, etc. While company would have been nice, frankly having someone around the house making food that I couldn't eat, and having conversations when my mouth barely moved would have been a mixed blessing. It's kind of your decision.
Hindsight: Would I do it again? Yes. I'm not quite George Clooney-esque, but my profile looks much better. All my teeth meet properly now, so despite still being in braces I can chew properly. As a I mentioned I have lingering numbness after 4 months, and I wish I didn't have it, obviously, but I used to destroy bite guards at night (all pressure on only 4 teeth...) and have a hard time biting into things. Wrong is wrong, and if you plan on living to 80 or more (I do) you're probably going to want to do it with your real original teeth.