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 lots of 403b calculators nowadays, but they work in a rather similar manner and require rather similar pieces of information to be used in the computation.
General 403b Calculator Definitions
Current Age in Years
This is your present age in years.
Anticipated Retirement Age in Years
This is your age in years as you expect to retire.
Life Expectancy in Years
This is your life expectancy as you reach your predicted retirement age.
Current Amount in 403b Fund in US Dollars
If you have a 403b fund at present, then this is where you enter the amount in that account on your 403b calculator. If you have not yet started funding your 403b plan, then just enter zero.
Annual Contribution to 403b (Percentage of Your Salary)
This is the amount you’d like to contribute, or are currently contributing, to your 403b plan in terms of a certain 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 typically match employee contributions in order to provide employee benefits, and to make them participate in the company’s program. If your employer does this, put that percentage here. If not, then simply enter zero.
Employer Maximum (Percentage of Salary)
Certain employers will only match up to a particular percentage of their workers’ 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 predicted annual rate of return, which you are expecting to realize on your 403b fund beginning now and when your retirement comes.
403b Fund Growth Over Time (in US Dollars)
This is the computed rise in your 403b fund increase over time as you become older year after year. 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 how much you will have in your 403b fund when you retire, provided if you make annual contributions and achieve your target rate of return, and your employer consistently matches funds at the rate you’ve given.
Salary at Retirement Age (US Dollars/ Year)
This is your estimated salary upon reaching the retirement age you’ve earlier specified.
Annual Income from 403b (US Dollars / Year)
This is the retirement income per year you can expect to get from your 403b account. Remember that withdrawals from 403b funds are taxable, and inflation will reduce the buying power of such future dollars.
Percentage of Final Pay
This is the portion of your salary at retirement age that may be replaced by your 403b funds. All retirement income sources need to replace 70% to 80% of your final pay as a rule of thumb. A 403b calculator definitely comes in handy not just for this but for all other related computations.