Understanding Your 403b Calculator and Terms
A 403b calculator enables you to determine how much cash you can save in your 403b plan upon retirement. There are several types of 403b calculators these days, but they work in generally the same manner and call for generally the same information to be used in the calculation.
General 403b calculator Definitions
Current Age in Years
This is your present age in years.
Anticipated Retirement Age in Years
This is the age in years you intend to retire.
Life Expectancy in Years
This is your life expectancy once you have reached your expected retirement age.
Current Amount in 403b Fund in US Dollars
On your 403b calculator, this is where you key in the amount you have in that account. If you haven’t begun funding your 403b plan, just enter zero.
Annual Contribution to 403b (Percentage of Your Salary)
This is how much you want to contribute, or are currently contributing, to your 403b plan expressed in terms of a specific percentage of your salary. If you increase or decrease your annual contribution percentage, you will see the impact of such action on your 403b fund balance as you retire.
Employer Match (Percentage of Contribution)
Majority of employers will match employee contributions to provide them benefits, and to encourage them to participate in the company’s program. If your employer does this, put that percentage here. Otherwise, then enter zero.
Employer Maximum (Percentage of Salary)
There are employers that only match up to a specific percentage of their employee’s salary. If your employer has a maximum that applies to their match, that amount goes here. The present limit on employer matches is 6%.
Expected Annual Return on 403b Fund (Percentage)
This is your expected annual rate of return, which you plan to realize on your 403b fund between today and your retirement.
403b Fund Growth Over Time (in US Dollars)
This is the computed 403b fund increase over time as you become older. This series of numbers, which is affected by employee-employer matching and your inputted growth rate, and limits your contributions to what the law (2015) currently allows.
403b Fund Balance at Retirement (in US Dollars)
This is the amount you will have in your 403b fund upon retirement, if you make contributions annually, you achieve your projected rate of return, and your employer keeps matching funds at the rate you’ve indicated.
Salary at Retirement Age (US Dollars/ Year)
This is your predicted salary as you reach the retirement age you’ve specified previously.
Annual Income from 403b (US Dollars / Year)
This is the retirement income per year you can expect to get from your 403b account. Note that 403b withdrawals are taxable, and inflation will weaken the buying power of these dollars in the future.
Percentage of Final Pay
This is the part of your salary upon retirement age that could your 403b funds can replace. As a rule of thumb, all sources of retirement income have to replace 70% to 80% of your final pay. A 403b calculator definitely comes in handy not just for this but for all other related computations.
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