9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2013 12:23 PM by yanushkevich

    How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?

    cyber888
      I know that there's a $17,500 limit to personal contribution, but that does not count employer contribution.   How much is your total contribution per year to your 401K or 403B including your employer contribution ? 
       
      Just wanted to see if I'm falling behind in terms of total contributions, because I have not max my personal limit since I'm trying to pay off my house.    Thanks.
        • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
          MyR Community Manager
          cyber888,
           
          Thank you for creating a new discussion thread! We appreciate and enjoy your participation in the MyRetirement.org online community and look forward to your future contributions.
          • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
            cbslc
            I'm maxing out both 403B and 457 (17.5 each). As does my wife. With mortgage interest rates so low, would you be better off investing and keeping the mortgage? 3.5% is pretty cheap money - better gains could be had by investing rather than paying off house. I paid off my house many years ago, but rates were at 7.25%.
            • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
              cyber888
              I'm not a govt. employee, but how is it possible that you can contribute 17.5K each for 2 retirement accounts ?  I thought the limit was 17.5k TOTAL for all retirement accounts ?  So, you are contributing $35,000 and your wife is also contributing $35,000 or $70,000 for both of you ????
                • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
                  yanushkevich
                  I retired in 1990 with $ 0.6A in my 403b and another $ 0.4 A in personal savings, for a total of $ 1.0 A.  15% of my 403b was in Tiaa which I almost immediately annuitized.  The rest was in Cref.  I never switched from Cref and tried to live off my savings rather than withdrawing from Cref.  I did take some Cref out at age 65-71, now am taking mandatory distributions from Cref.
                   
                  Since 1990, I spent $ 2.3 A including social security while receiving my Tiaa annuity, I still have $ 2 A left.
                   
                  Cref has been real good to me, even though my Tiaa Cref advisor wanted me to diversify away from it, which I never did.
                   
                  Right now I am taking only mandatory distributions from my Cref, collecting my Tiaa annuity and social security benefit.
                   
                  I can rest easy, knowing I have an adequate income for life, and still be able to leave my offspring something.
                   
                  I had to close my eyes many times when my Cref tanked, but it always came back up.  Cref has never let me down.
                   
                   
                    • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
                      JerryD
                      Please forgive me for asking, but I do a lot of reading on financial stuff and your use of the terms $ 0.6A, $ 0.4 A, $ 1.0 A, $ 2.3 A and $ 2 A confuses me. Could you explain what an "A" is?
                        • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
                          yanushkevich
                          JerryD said...
                          Please forgive me for asking, but I do a lot of reading on financial stuff and your use of the terms $ 0.6A, $ 0.4 A, $ 1.0 A, $ 2.3 A and $ 2 A confuses me. Could you explain what an \"A\" is?
                          OK, I apologize, A is equal to the total amount of money I started with when I retired.  As an example, let us say I had $180K in Tiaa-Cref and $120K in my personal account, then A would be $180 + $120, or $300K, (0.6 or 60% in Tiaa Cref and .04 or 40% in my personal account).
                           

                          Between Dec 1990 and Dec 2012, I would have spent 2.3xA or $690K, and I still would have 2 A or $600K left in Tiaa Cref.  In Dec 1990 Cref's NAV was $44 and it rose to $268 in Dec 2012.
                           
                          This amounts to almost a 9% rate of return.  I actually did better than that, by keeping 6 months worth of income in a money market account so I would not have to take too much Cref out during the lean years like 2002;
                           
                          As far as income, you can do the math, spending $690K over 22 years comes out to $31,300 per year.
                           
                          Now you can substitute any amount for A, and do the math.  If the numbers above do not jive exactly, you need to remember, I started collecting social security benefits a few years back.  Also, I invested my personal account monies very conservatively, mostly municipal bonds which did not return a lot, but were less risky than equities.
                    • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
                      cbslc
                      403b and 401k combined limit is 17.5k (as I unfortunately have found out). 457 is a different beast, typically only offered by govt/university organizations and allows an additional 17.5k. These limits are per individual. So yes, combined is 70 k. This is old, but still relevant http://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/401k_457plans.moneymag/index2.htm
                      • Re: How much is your total 401K or 403B contribution (including employer)?
                        yanushkevich
                        Can't help you there, I have been retired for 23 years almost;  things were probably different, I socked almost 30% of my gross (including employer contributions of course) into my 403b, I also had a separate IRA but after 1986, we were no longer allowed to put non-taxable (tax deferred) contributions into our IRA's, so I stopped doing that, because the accounting of taxable and taxed contributions would be horrendous (at the time we did not have the current software for tax preparation).

                        So many of the retirement vehicles you mention are totally foreign to me.

                        Just be smart when you take your money out as when you put it in.  By dollar cost averaging, I was able to improve my performance by almost 30%;  that means had the market acted without its ups and downs, I would have had about a third less shares in cref.  When you take it out, you never know when you are hitting a high, but you definitely know when you are hitting a low, so during lows, try to minimize the number of cref shares you plan to take out.  Good luck