Practical and Helpful Tips: Finances

Defining Terms with Your 403b Calculator

A 403b calculator lets you to compute how much money you can save in your 403b plan when your retirement comes. 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

On your 403b calculator, this is where you key in the amount you have in that 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. 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, key in 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.