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 many different 403b calculators today, but they work in pretty much the same manner and require pretty much the same information to be used for 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 haven’t begun funding your 403b plan, just enter zero.
Annual Contribution to 403b (Percentage of Your Salary)
This is the amount you’d like to contribute, or are currently contributing, to your 403b plan in terms of a certain 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 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 403b fund increase over time as you become 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 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 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 at retirement age that may 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 definitely comes in handy not just for this but for all other related computations.