Defining Terms with Your 403b Calculator
A 403b calculator allows you to estimate the amount you can save in your 403b plan when you retire. 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 upon reaching your anticipated 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 haven’t begun funding your 403b plan, 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. Otherwise, just 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. Employer matches are currently limited at 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 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 portion of your salary as you reach retirement age that could be replaced by your 403b funds. As a rule of thumb, all sources of retirement income have to replace 70% to 80% of your final pay. A 403b calculator sure comes in handy for this and all other related computations.