Taxable vs. Tax-Deferred Savings

When it comes to investing, tax deferral can be a powerful tool. Use this calculator to help compare the potential future value of an investment being subject to income tax each year with deferring the tax until funds are withdrawn.
Initial balance or deposit (After-tax) ($) 
Annual savings amount (After-tax) ($) 
Annual increase in contributions (%) 
Number of years for the analysis 
Before-tax return on savings (%)help
Marginal tax bracket (%)help
Compounding/savings frequency 
This hypothetical example is used for comparison purposes and is not intended to represent the past or future performance of any investment. No withdrawals were made during the period indicated. Actual returns will fluctuate. Taxable account assumes earnings are taxed as ordinary income. Lower maximum rates on capital gains and dividends would make the taxable accounts returns more favorable when compared with the tax-deferred account. The types of securities and strategies illustrated may not be suitable for everyone. Some investments that are free of federal income taxes may be subject to state and local taxes. Also, the alternative minimum tax may apply. Fees and other expenses were not considered in the illustration. Withdrawals from a tax-deferred program are subject to ordinary income taxes. If a withdrawal is taken before age 59½, a 10% federal tax penalty may apply. Individuals should consider their time frame and income tax brackets when evaluating a financial instrument.

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