How to Determine What My IRA Will Be Worth

By: Ryan Menezes

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

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

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.

Items you will need

  • Financial calculator

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About the Author

Ryan Menezes is a professional writer and blogger. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University and has written for the American Civil Liberties Union, the marketing firm InSegment and the project management service Assembla. He is also a member of Mensa and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

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