Author Topic: 401k calculator question (why don't the projections update past a certain %??)  (Read 695 times)

EconDiva

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Ok I must be missing something realllly simple here so forgive me if that's the case but...

https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/401-k-retirement-calculator.aspx


^Using the above calculator, assuming all other assumptions stay the same, if I change the percent to contribute from 20% to 30%, the total accumulated that is calculated does not change.  I think it's somewhere around 20% or 25% that the amount just doesn't go up anymore at all.  Contributing 30% gives you the same number as say, contributing 50%.  What gives?
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wenchsenior

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Could it be b/c at, e.g., ~20% of 120K salary, you run up against annual 401k limits?  Try lowering the salary input and increasing the percentage...

MDM

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Scroll down on that web site to see
Quote
Your total contribution for one year is based on your annual salary times the percent you contribute. However, your annual contribution is also subject to certain maximum total contributions per year. The annual maximum for 2017 is $18,000. Starting at age 50 or older, a "catch-up" provision allows you to contribute an additional $6,000 into your 401(k) account.

inline five

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You can contribute up to $55k ish IIRC between you and the company match. You can defer 18k on your end plus the company match. The remaining balance under 55k can be done as after tax in most plans and then converted to a Roth IRA. Basically a super sized back door Roth IRA. Check your plan to confirm.

EconDiva

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Ahhh....duh.  I knew I was missing something simple.

Thank you all.

What I think I really need to do is use two calculators:

The one I posted to see how much the 401k account will grow while still contributing to it, and then,
Another separate calculator inputting the amount I got from the above step, to see how much the account will grow to over a certain period without contributions

Basically, I believe there will be a period in my 50s where it's 'possible' I'm not contributing at all anymore but not yet drawing from the funds accumulated in my 401k.  I'm kinda trying to work backwards right now to determine how much minimum I need to have in the account before I could potentially stop contributing and be okay with letting it just grow. 
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the_fixer

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I use this one often as you mentioned I calculate my earning years and then I do the same for after I stop adding.

https://www.daveramsey.com/smartvestor/investment-calculator

FINRA also has some decent ones but the one above is so simple I normally default to it first a quick calc.

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MDM

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What I think I really need to do is use two calculators:

The one I posted to see how much the 401k account will grow while still contributing to it, and then,
Another separate calculator inputting the amount I got from the above step, to see how much the account will grow to over a certain period without contribution
That's easy enough to do, but if you want a head start, see the 'Misc. calcs' tab in the case study spreadsheet.  Inputs go in the green cells.  For your situation, using =C23 in cell D17 accomplishes the "inputting the amount I got from the above step, to see how much the account will grow...."
For example:


This doesn't account for the $6K/yr extra contribution allowed after age 50, but the uncertainty in the annual rate of return probably overwhelms everything else anyway.

Ryancanderson23

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I use this one often as you mentioned I calculate my earning years and then I do the same for after I stop adding.

https://www.daveramsey.com/smartvestor/investment-calculator

FINRA also has some decent ones but the one above is so simple I normally default to it first a quick calc.

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I hope people aren't using the 11% s& p historical return he lists in parenthesis beneath the expected rate of return.

MDM

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I hope people aren't using the 11% s& p historical return he lists in parenthesis beneath the expected rate of return.
Better than the 12% he often states. ;)

the_fixer

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I always put in 6 or 7% but there are probably people that read that little blurb and put in 11%

That is almost as good as the part that says

"If you were born in 1960 or later, 67 years old is the age in which you can retire with full benefits."



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« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 02:32:11 PM by the_fixer »