“Whenever the topic turns to retirement in America, the language is fairly dismal,” writes Steve Utkus. Case in point: a new report finds that 40% of baby boomers are unprepared for retirement. But, Utkus asks, is “ready or not” really the right question? Retirement readiness, like most issues of the day, is not black and white. It is nuanced. A closer look at recent research on retirement reveals not only the obvious — that, if 40% percent of boomers are unprepared, 60% are prepared — but other reasons to celebrate, too. Many boomers who don’t feel prepared for retirement are within striking distance of being prepared, Utkus says, and need only make minor adjustments (saving 3% more per year, for example, or working slightly longer). Of course, some of us are truly unprepared and will need significant guidance in order to have a comfortable retirement, or to be able to retire at all. But the constant stream of gloomy statistics leads us to have an unreasonably pessimistic view of ourselves and our financial prospects as we approach retirement.

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