How to Determine What My IRA Will Be Worth

IRS rules determine how much you can contribute to your IRA.

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You can't know for sure how much your individual retirement account will be worth in the future. You may fail to maintain your payment schedule, and the market may take a tumble, or growth rates may rise and the Internal Revenue Service may let you make higher contributions. But you can make an estimate. If you make regular contributions to your IRA over time and the account grows at a steady rate, you can calculate the account's eventual worth using a physical or online financial calculator.

Step 1

Enter the IRA's current balance into a financial calculator and press the "PV" key. For example, if the account currently holds $15,888," type "15888."

Step 2

Enter your annual IRA contribution and press "PMT." For example, if you deposit $3,500 each year, type "3500."

Step 3

Enter the number of years between when you began contributing and when you will retire, and then press "n." For example, if you will start withdrawing 20 years after first contributing, type "20."

Step 4

Type the IRA's growth rate, and then press "i." For example, if the account grows by 8.2 percent each year, type "8.2."

Step 5

Press "Compute" and then press "FV" to determine the IRA's future worth. With this example, your IRA would be worth $230,931 in 20 years.