Finances – Getting Started & Next Steps

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 that you plan to retire.

Life Expectancy in Years

This is your life expectancy upon reaching your anticipated 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 started your 403b funding yet, you can just enter zero.

Annual Contribution to 403b (Percentage of Your Salary)

This is how much you intend to contribute, or are contributing at present, to your 403b plan expressed as a 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)

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. 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. Six percent is the current limit on employer matches.

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 403b fund increase over time as you become older. This series of figures, which are affected by your inputted growth rate and employer-employee matching, restricts your contributions to the present maximums by the law (2015) allows.

403b Fund Balance at Retirement (in US Dollars)

This will be your 403b fund at retirement age, if you make yearly contributions to the accounts and attain your expected rate of return, and your employer keeps matching funds at your indicated rate.

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 you can expect your 403b account to give you annually. 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 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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