Using a 401k calculator can help you determine how much money you should be contributing each month, or how much you will be able to withdraw. A 401k retirement calculator can also tell you whether you’ll have enough money to retire at the desired age so you can see if you need to increase your contributions in order to meet your retirement goal.
You’ll find that there is not just one 401k calculator that will tell you everything you need to know. Instead, there are separate calculators that perform different functions. For example, a 401k savings calculator like the one at money-zine.com will help you determine whether you are putting enough money into your 401k plan each month. If you find that you are going to be short, you can make adjustments to the amount of your contributions in order to ensure that you will be able to retire when you want to.
Another 401k calculator you might find useful is the 401k contribution calculator at BankRate.com. If you used the 401k savings calculator above and determined that you need to increase your contributions in order to meet your retirement goal, you can now use the 401k contribution calculator to determine whether you can afford to do that. To use this 401k calculator, enter your tax and retirement plan information. Then, at the bottom of the form, enter your current withholding percentage as withholding option 1 and the new percentage as withholding option 2. The calculator will tell you approximately how much your take-home pay will be reduced if you increase your contributions to the desired level. If the additional contribution will reduce the amount of your check too much, you’ll need to take a look at your budget to see if there is anything that can be cut.
Many companies allow you to take out a loan against your 401k plan. This is not necessarily a good idea because the loan will need to be repaid within 30 days if you stop working for the company, but in some cases you may find that it is worth the potential risk to do so. You can use a 401k loan calculator such as the one at Standard and Poors to determine what your payments will be on the loan and what effect taking the loan out will have on the value of your 401k plan at the time you are ready to retire.
If you are tempted to take an early withdrawal from your 401k plan, you should use a 401k withdrawal calculator like this one to determine what effect on the eventual value of your retirement plan. In addition, you need to make sure you understand the tax implications of withdrawing money from your 401k prior to retirement age. You will have to pay income tax on the money in the year during which it is withdrawn as well as being hit with a tax penalty. This can be very costly.
One last 401k calculator is one you won’t need until you reach retirement age. The minimum distribution calculator at Finra.org will tell you how much money you must withdraw from your IRA if you have reached the age of 70 1/2 or greater.