Although contributions to your 401k plan can often feel like a pay cut, it is important to keep in mind that your 401(k) offers you a myriad of benefits. Not only does it allow you to reduce your taxable income and defer taxes on your contributions and earnings until you withdraw them, but many employer sponsored plans offer a matching contribution that can help you increase your retirement savings.
If you're looking for a way to see how much your 401k will be worth when you retire and how much of a difference your contribution (as well as your employer's match) may have on your 401(k) account, there are some good online calculators that help you calculate your earnings.
- Bankrate.com has an easy-to-use 401k savings calculator that will allow you to calculate your employee contributions, as well as those made on your behalf by your employer. It even gives you a cool graph to visually show you your growth, as well as a result summary report and your account balance by year.
- Bloomberg has another good 401k financial calculator that does much of what Bankrate's does, but also allows you to factor in catch-up contributions. So if you're 50 years of age or older, you can plug in your allowable catch-up contribution amount to see how taking advantage of this extra limit can add up over time.
- 401kCalculator.org offers a type of reverse 401k calculator. Here, you input the dollar amount you would like to have saved for retirement and the program will show you how much you should be saving each month and each year to meet your goal.
Using online retirement financial calculators can be a good way to see how well your 401k contributions are adding up and where you should be making adjustments in your retirement planning. They can also help you discuss any concerns you may have with your financial advisor. As always, make it a practice to seek the advice of a trained financial professional before making any changes or decisions regarding your retirement accounts.