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 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 the age in years you intend 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
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)
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, then 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’s maximum applies to their match, put that that amount here. The present limit on employer matches is 6%.
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 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 estimated salary upon reaching the retirement age you’ve earlier specified.
Annual Income from 403b (US Dollars / Year)
This is the yearly retirement income your 403b account may be expected to provide you. 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. The rule of thumb is, all retirement income sources must replace 70% to 80% of your final pay. A 403b calculator certainly comes in handy for this and all other related calculations.