"Whenever the topic turns to retirement in America, the language is fairly dismal," writes Steve Utkus, head of the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research. Case in point: a new report finds that 40 percent 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 percent of boomers are unprepared, 60 percent 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 percent more per year, for example, or working slightly longer).

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