401(k) Spend It or Save It Calculator
There are several ways to manage your 401(k) balance when you leave an employer. The most fundamental of which is should you spend it or save it? Depending on your age and tax bracket, making the wrong decision can cost you thousands of dollars both in taxes and lost earnings. This calculator helps illustrate the difference.
- Current age
- Your current age.
- Age of retirement
- Age you wish to retire. We calculate the ending balance at retirement for each of your rollover options.
- Federal income tax rate
- Consult the table below to determine your federal tax bracket. If you are unsure, the calculator will choose 25%. Please note that state taxes are entered in a separate entry field.
Filing Status and Income Tax Rates 2010 Tax rate Married filing jointly
or qualified widow(er)
Single Head of household Married filing separately 10% $0 - 16,750 $0 - 8,375 $0 - $11,950 $0 - 8,375 15% $16,751 - 68,000 $8,376 - 34,000 $11,951 - 45,550 $8,376 - 34,000 25% $68,001 - 137,300 $34,001 - 82,400 $45,551 - 117,650 $34,001 - 68,650 28% $137,301 - 209,250 $82,401 - 171,850 $117,651 - 190,550 $68,651 - 104,625 33% $209,251 - 373,650 $171,851 - 373,650 $190,551 - 373,650 $104,626 - 186,825 35% over $373,650 over $373,650 over $373,650 over $186,825 Source: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-09-50.pdf
- State income tax rate
- The current state marginal tax rate you expect to pay on any additional income (or taxable distributions).
- Current 401(k) balance
- The starting balance or current amount you have invested or saved in your 401(k).
- Annual rate of return
- The annual rate of return for your 401(k) account. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the type of investments you select. For example, from December 1999 to December 2009, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500 was -0.6%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 to December 2009, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.1% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a bank may pay as little as 1% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.
It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that funds and/or investment companies may charge.
Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your personal independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We can not and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.