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 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 how much you intend to contribute, or are contributing at present, to your 403b plan expressed as a percentage of your salary. The effect of decreasing or increasing your yearly contribution percentage will be seen on your 403b fund balance on your 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, key in that percentage here. If not, then simply 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. Six percent is the current limit on employer matches.
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 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 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. Be aware that 403b fund withdrawals are taxable, and inflation will lower the purchasing power of these future dollars.
Percentage of Final Pay
This is the part of your salary upon retirement age that could your 403b funds can replace. All retirement income sources need to replace 70% to 80% of your final pay as a rule of thumb. A 403b calculator certainly comes in handy for this and all other related calculations.