Compare Roth vs. Traditional 401(k) Calculator

Roth Vs Traditional 401 K Comparison Calculator

ACalculator is a proficient retirement planner. With the help of this calculator, you can now easily choose between a traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k). Neither of these two retirement plan has a sheer advantage. So, depending on your particular retirement plans and financial conditions, this calculator will suggest you the best one for you. Your retirement income can vary widely depending on what type of account holds your savings and what assumptions you make about return and tax rates during the accumulation and withdrawal periods. Use this calculator to help compare employee contributions to the new after-tax Roth 401(k) and the current tax-deductible 401(k).
How to Choose Between a 401(k) and a Roth IRA?

Should I Do A Traditional Or Roth 401k?

If your 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan accepts both traditional and Roth contributions, you have two ways to save for your retirement. Both offer federal income tax advantages.

Traditional accounts provide a tax break now. Traditional contributions are not taxed at the time of investment. Instead, taxes are paid on withdrawals, including any earnings. Getting a tax break at the time of investment will leave more money in your pocket now — money that you can invest, save or spend.

Roth accounts provide a tax advantage later. Roth contributions are made with money that’s already been taxed, so you won’t have to pay taxes on qualified withdrawals, including earnings.

Enter your personal information to compare the results of traditional before-tax savings and Roth after-tax savings. You can click each for help.

The conventional approach is to compare your current tax bracket with what you think it will be in retirement, which would depend on your taxable income and the tax rates in place when you retire. If you expect it to be lower, go with pre-tax contributions. If you expect it to be higher, go with the Roth. If you’re not sure, go with both.

However, there are a couple of other factors that are often overlooked. One has to do with the way that the tax code is structured. When you contribute to a retirement plan, you’re contributing money that would normally be taxed at your marginal tax rate. However, when you withdraw money in retirement, some of the money is likely to be taxed at some of the lower tax brackets.


Current age
Your present age.
Age of retirement
The age when you wish to retire.
Annual contribution
Amount of dollar you are about to contribute to the 401(k) retirement plan every year. ACalculator assumes that these contributions are the sum of 12 monthly equal payments which were made at the starting of every month.
Invest traditional tax-savings
If you check this box, your tax savings from the traditional 401(k) contributions will be considered as investments.
Maximize contributions
Upon checking this box, you instruct the calculator to increase your contributions to the maximum permitted level.
Expected rate of return
Rate of return that will be provided by the 401(k) account.
Current tax rate
Rate of marginal tax applicable on your incomes based on your tax filing status. Visit for details.
Retirement tax rate
Marginal rate of tax payable on the investments at retirement.
After tax total at retirement
After-tax balance from the accounts at retirement. In case of traditional 401(k), this is the total of after-tax incomes and incomes from investing the tax savings. For the Roth 401(k) savings account, it’s the final account balance after income taxes are paid and tax deductible contributions are adjusted.
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