Understanding Your 403b Calculator and Defining Terms
A 403b calculator lets you to compute how much money you can save in your 403b plan when your retirement comes. There are many different 403b calculators today, but they work in pretty much the same manner and require pretty much the same information to be used for computation.
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 enter the amount in your account. If you have not yet started funding your 403b plan, then 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. By raising or lowering your annual contribution percentage, you can see the effect on your 403b fund balance upon retirement.
Employer Match (Percentage of Contribution)
Employers will usually match employee contributions to provide employees benefits, as well as to encourage their participation in the company’s program. If your employer does this, put that percentage here. Otherwise, just enter zero.
Employer Maximum (Percentage of Salary)
Employers will sometimes only match up to a certain percentage of the salary of their employees. 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 anticipated annual rate of return, which you intend to realize on your 403b fund from now to your retirement age.
403b Fund Growth Over Time (in US Dollars)
This is the computed increase in your 403b fund as you grow older. This series of values is influenced by your inputted growth rate and employee-employer matching, and confines your contributions to the present maximums the law (2015) permits.
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 expected salary when you come to the retirement age you’ve previously indicated.
Annual Income from 403b (US Dollars / Year)
This is the yearly retirement income your 403b account may be expected to provide you. 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 portion of your salary at retirement age that may be replaced by your 403b funds. The rule of thumb is, all retirement income sources must replace 70% to 80% of your final pay. A 403b calculator certainly comes in handy for this and all other related calculations.
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