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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 the age in years that you plan 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

On your 403b calculator, this is where you key in the amount you have in that 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 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)

Majority of employers will match employee contributions to provide them benefits, and to encourage them to participate in the company’s program. If your employer does this, put that percentage here. Otherwise, just enter zero.

Employer Maximum (Percentage of Salary)

Certain employers will only match up to a particular percentage of their workers’ salary. If your employer’s maximum applies to their match, put that that amount 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 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 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. 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.