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 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 upon reaching your anticipated 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 haven’t begun funding your 403b plan, 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 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, 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. Employer matches are currently limited at 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 numbers, which is affected by employee-employer matching and your inputted growth rate, and limits your contributions to what the law (2015) currently 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 per year you can expect to get from your 403b account. 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 as you reach retirement age that could 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 sure comes in handy for this and all other related computations.