Understanding Your 403b Calculator and Defining Terms
A 403b calculator enables you to determine how much cash you can save in your 403b plan upon retirement. 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 your age in years as you expect 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 key in the amount you have in that 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. 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 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, enter the percentage here. Otherwise, then 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 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 increase in your 403b fund as you grow 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 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 yearly retirement income your 403b account may be expected to provide you. 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 as you reach retirement age that could 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 sure comes in handy for this and all other related computations.