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 your age in years as you expect to retire.
Life Expectancy in Years
This is your life expectancy once you have reached your expected retirement age.
Current Amount in 403b Fund in US Dollars
On your 403b calculator, this is where you enter the amount in your 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. 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)
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 has a maximum applying to their match, then that amount should be entered here. The present limit on employer matches is 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 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 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 expected salary when you come to the retirement age you’ve previously indicated.
Annual Income from 403b (US Dollars / Year)
This is the retirement income you can expect your 403b account to give you annually. 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 definitely comes in handy not just for this but for all other related computations.