Americans' trademark optimism is intact, at least in regard to retirement, despite the economic turbulence that is reportedly forcing many people to work longer and make do with less. In fact, many retirees found only one downside: They wish they could have done it sooner. That's according to a new survey from The Hartford and MIT AgeLab.

The study, conducted by GfK Roper for The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab, surveyed people who are within 10 years of retiring versus those who have retired within the last 10 years, and attempted to answer the question, “Does the reality of retirement match expectations?” 

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