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What is a 403(b) Retirement Plan?

A 403(b)-retirement plan is a type of retirement savings account available to certain employees, typically those working in the non-profit sector, such as public-school’s teachers, healthcare professionals, and employees of religious organizations.

In simple terms, a 403(b) works like a savings account that allows you to set aside money from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis. This means that the money you contribute is deducted from your income before taxes are calculated, which can lower your taxable income. The idea is to save money for retirement while also reducing your current tax liability.

The contributions you make to a 403(b) plan can be invested in various financial products, such as mutual funds, annuities, or insurance contracts. The investment options depend on the specific plan offered by your employer. Over time, the money you contribute, and any investment gains grow tax-deferred, which means you don't pay taxes on the earnings until you withdraw the money during retirement.

There are usually some restrictions on when you can withdraw funds from a 403(b) plan. Generally, you can't take money out of the account before you turn 59 ½ without incurring penalties. However, once you reach retirement age, you can start taking distributions from the account to support your living expenses.

Overall, a 403(b)-retirement plan is a way for employees in certain non-profit organizations to save for retirement while receiving potential tax benefits. It helps you set aside money from your paycheck, invest it for growth, and access it in the future when you stop working.

There is mandatory withdrawal -RMD (Required Minimum Distributions) which requires a minimum withdrawal out the account at a specific older age. The current 2023 RMD age is 73 and there is a formula for the minimum to be withdrawn each year thereafter. For those already withdrawing, their RMD age hasn't changed.