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Roth (after-tax) Account or Pre-Tax Account?

Get a Roth (after-tax) Account or Pre-Tax Account? branded for your website! Colorful, interactive, simply The Best Financial Calculators!
Use this calculator to help determine which type of retirement account may be the best option for your retirement.

Roth (after-tax) Account or Pre-Tax Account? Definitions

Current age
Your current age.
Elective deferral contribution
The amount you will contribute to your plan's account each year. This calculator assumes that you make 12 equal contributions throughout the year at the beginning of each month. **401K_ANNUAL_LIMITS** It is also important to note that employer contributions do not affect an employee's maximum elective deferral contribution limit.

Some employees are subject to additional contribution limits. **401k_HIGHLY_COMPENSATED**

Expected rate of return
The annual rate of return for your account. This calculator assumes that your return is compounded annually and your deposits are made monthly. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500® (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending December 31st 2022, had an annual compounded rate of return of 13.6%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1, 1970 to December 31st 2022, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500®, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 11.3% (source: www.spglobal.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 financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% 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 investment funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Age at retirement
Age you wish to retire. This calculator assumes that the year you retire, you do not make any contributions to your account. For example, if you retire at age 65, your last contribution occurs when you are actually 64.
Current tax rate
The current marginal income tax rate you expect to pay on your taxable investments. Use the table below to assist you in determining your current tax rate. **TAXTABLE_CURRENT_DEFINITION**
Retirement tax rate
The marginal tax rate you expect to pay on your investments at retirement.
After tax total at retirement
For Roth account, this is the total value of the account. For the pre-tax account this would include 1) The value of the account after you pay income taxes on all earnings and tax-deductible contributions and 2) what you would have earned if you had invested (in an ordinary taxable account) any income tax savings, if you choose to invest any of the tax savings.