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A 10-Point Plan for Tips (Without Being Overwhelmed)

Understanding Your 403b Calculator and Defining Terms

A 403b calculator allows you to estimate the amount you can save in your 403b plan when you retire. 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 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

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 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 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, put that percentage here. If not, then simply enter zero.

Employer Maximum (Percentage of Salary)

Certain employers will only match up to a particular percentage of their workers’ salary. 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 predicted annual rate of return, which you are expecting to realize on your 403b fund beginning now and when your retirement comes.

403b Fund Growth Over Time (in US Dollars)

This is the computed rise in your 403b fund increase over time as you become older year after year. This series of values is influenced by your inputted growth rate and employee-employer matching, and confines your contributions to the present maximums the law (2015) permits.

403b Fund Balance at Retirement (in US Dollars)

This is the amount you will have in your 403b fund upon retirement, if you make contributions annually, you achieve your projected rate of return, and your employer keeps matching funds at the rate you’ve indicated.

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 you can expect your 403b account to give you annually. 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 sure comes in handy for this and all other related computations.

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