What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

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fantasytensai
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What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by fantasytensai »

For those of us still in the corporate grind, especially the W-2ers, I was curious what your typical take home pay / gross pay ratio is. I feel that this is one of the less invasive questions on the sub since it's asking for a percentage rather than a number.

For the purposes of this survey, take home pay is the actual amount of cash deposited into your bank account each payroll, so if you get paid bi-weekly, it is your bi-weekly pay X 26. If you are paid twice a month, it would be X 24. It is NOT the W-2 wage referred to on your 1040 form. To keep things as simple as possible, let's not include bonuses. Also, it would be helpful to include if you receive a big refund (meaning you withheld too much), or owed taxes (withheld too little).

I will get things started. Both my wife and I are W-2 employees. Our take home pay divided by gross pay for 2017 was 54.65%. We received a $100 refund. We maxed both pre-tax 401(k)s.

Thanks for your input!

Edit: Changed to correct pay frequency. Thanks!
Last edited by fantasytensai on Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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yatesd
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by yatesd »

I'm not sure the results will be meaningful. Too many variables. Short term/long term disability, benefits, HSA, 401K, life insurance, people saving for a flex account etc.
PharmerBrown
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by PharmerBrown »

fantasytensai wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:52 pm
For the purposes of this survey, take home pay is the actual amount of cash deposited into your bank account each payroll, so if you get paid bi-weekly, it is your bi-weekly pay X 24. It is NOT the W-2 wage referred to on your 1040 form.
There are typically 26 paychecks each year if you are paid bi-weekly.
Topic Author
fantasytensai
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by fantasytensai »

PharmerBrown wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:06 pm
fantasytensai wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:52 pm
For the purposes of this survey, take home pay is the actual amount of cash deposited into your bank account each payroll, so if you get paid bi-weekly, it is your bi-weekly pay X 24. It is NOT the W-2 wage referred to on your 1040 form.
There are typically 26 paychecks each year if you are paid bi-weekly.
Changed, thanks!
Topic Author
fantasytensai
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by fantasytensai »

yatesd wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:58 pm I'm not sure the results will be meaningful. Too many variables. Short term/long term disability, benefits, HSA, 401K, life insurance, people saving for a flex account etc.
I disagree, I think it will be very meaningful. Why not just tell us if you maxed out HSA, 401k, etc? Life insurance and disability premiums are usually negligible amounts.
PFInterest
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by PFInterest »

i am confused as to the purpose of this exercise.
but here goes
take home/gross = 65%

however that was different from last week as this is my first paycheck without 401k contributions deducted.
AlphaLess
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by AlphaLess »

Taxes: 32-33% (Social Security, Medicare, Federal, Health care supplement, State),
Deferred: 33%,
Take-home: 33%.
Living Expenses: 11% (comes out of take-home).

Deferred is taxed before it goes into account.
Once deferred is vested, it also becomes take-home.
"A Republic, if you can keep it". Benjamin Franklin. 1787. | Party affiliation: Vanguard. Religion: low-cost investing.
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luminous
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by luminous »

take home/gross = 37%

I am maxing out pre-tax 401k and mega backdoor Roth, and I have a small FSA contribution as well.
50/20/30 US stock/international stock/bonds. Hope to semi-retire in 2022.
Topic Author
fantasytensai
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by fantasytensai »

PFInterest wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:12 pm i am confused as to the purpose of this exercise.
but here goes
take home/gross = 65%

however that was different from last week as this is my first paycheck without 401k contributions deducted.
The purpose, to be brutally honest, is that when I did the calculations for myself and saw that I was only taking home less than 55% of my take home pay, I was a little shocked, and wanted to see if this is normal.

Thanks for your numbers. I was was hoping more for a yearly summary, but this is helpful as well.
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fantasytensai
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by fantasytensai »

luminous wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:17 pm take home/gross = 37%

I am maxing out pre-tax 401k and mega backdoor Roth, and I have a small FSA contribution as well.
That's brutal! But at least if you are maxing out the MBR, that's 55k right there, 110k if 2p, so that makes sense.
bubbadog
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by bubbadog »

2 to 3 :moneybag
PFInterest
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by PFInterest »

fantasytensai wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:17 pm
PFInterest wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:12 pm i am confused as to the purpose of this exercise.
but here goes
take home/gross = 65%

however that was different from last week as this is my first paycheck without 401k contributions deducted.
The purpose, to be brutally honest, is that when I did the calculations for myself and saw that I was only taking home less than 55% of my take home pay, I was a little shocked, and wanted to see if this is normal.

Thanks for your numbers. I was was hoping more for a yearly summary, but this is helpful as well.
So you weren't accounting for federal, state, Medicare, ss, healthcare, insurance? Yea it all adds up :sharebeer
runner3081
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by runner3081 »

Net % of Gross - 66%

State income tax, max HSA, max 403B, small company donation and cheap health insurance makes that up.
28fe6
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by 28fe6 »

About 42%, but I max my ESPP. If I add the ESPP escrow back in, which is 15% of gross pay, then it would be about 57%. Not maxing anything except HSA.
Topic Author
fantasytensai
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by fantasytensai »

28fe6 wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:34 pm About 42%, but I max my ESPP. If I add the ESPP escrow back in, which is 15% of gross pay, then it would be about 57%. Not maxing anything except HSA.
Out of curiosity, why not max 401k?
28fe6
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by 28fe6 »

Because I don't make all that much money, my wife makes no money, I have 3 kids to feed, and I need the money to spend on things. I'm also in the process of building Emergency Fund up to 1 year due to unstable work. And I'm considering buying a rental property which will require downpayment and interim cash-flow. I'm in the 12% bracket so deferring the tax isn't as attractive as it would be if I were in a higher bracket. I think it's better to max HSA than 401k, so I max HSA and contribute only the 6% to 401k to get the employer match and that's it.

I know it's not a boglehead-ish thing to say, but stock valuations are high and bond funds are dropping right now so that's another reason to not contribute more to my 401k. I'm comfortable with my current choices. If we were after a big stock correction and/or bond yields were a little better I would be more motivated to invest.
jharkin
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by jharkin »

Last job = 48%. The usual taxes + insurance + I had max 401k, max HSA and a 10% ESPP deducted.

New job will be about 58- 60%. All of the above except no ESPP.
Last edited by jharkin on Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Silverado
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Silverado »

28fe6 wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:06 pm Because I don't make all that much money, my wife makes no money, I have 3 kids to feed, and I need the money to spend on things. I'm also in the process of building Emergency Fund up to 1 year due to unstable work. And I'm considering buying a rental property which will require downpayment and interim cash-flow. I'm in the 12% bracket so deferring the tax isn't as attractive as it would be if I were in a higher bracket. I think it's better to max HSA than 401k, so I max HSA and contribute only the 6% to 401k to get the employer match and that's it.

I know it's not a boglehead-ish thing to say, but stock valuations are high and bond funds are dropping right now so that's another reason to not contribute more to my 401k. I'm comfortable with my current choices. If we were after a big stock correction and/or bond yields were a little better I would be more motivated to invest.
So which is it? You need more take home or you are market timing? If you are just waiting to time the market, there are likely places to park the money that have no risk as you wait. Even at that low tax rate, getting dollars sheltered could make sense. At least put most of any raise into your 401k.

To answer the OP, we are around 58%, max everything plus have a fair amount of additional tax withheld due to a mid December bonus that is normally large.
Jags4186
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Jags4186 »

I’m at 52% take home
Wife is at 54% take home
Bacchus01
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Bacchus01 »

It varies a huge amount throughout the year from 50-65%.
nolesrule
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by nolesrule »

Me: 61%
Wife: 53%

Overall: 57%

In 2017 all additional withholding came from my pay; the only extra that comes out of my check is 401k deferrals. Wife works for a megacorp with better insurance benefits and the HSA. I did not exclude bonuses because I'm to lazy to subtract it out. We did receive a hefty refund, but that was due to a huge and unexpected DAF donation we made at the end of the year.
Last edited by nolesrule on Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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teen persuasion
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by teen persuasion »

Me : 92%
DH: 17%
Combined: 42%
Refunds: $7700 (refundable credits, not overpayment - I use to fund Roth IRAs)

I used last year's w2 info, as DH has recently changed jobs and we're still working out the kinks in the new payroll deductions. Higher pay, higher pre-tax retirement contributions, lower HI contributions, employer kicks in some HSA so lower that we can contribute...
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BrandonBogle
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by BrandonBogle »

I will throw my hat in this ring, but like others have said, it isn't as meaningful when you don't look at all the variables (such as how I max out my 401k annually or the bonus that has been paid every year). I generally have a tax refund or balance due around $0 - $250.

58%

A better measure would be to use Livesoft's methodology, since it accounts for taxes, HSAs, 401ks contributions and match, dividends, etc. For 2017, my take-home (including dividends) / Adjusted Livesoft Income = 72% . This methodology gives me an effective Fed tax rate of 7.8% and effective total tax rate of 11.2%.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

28fe6 wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:06 pm Because I don't make all that much money, my wife makes no money, I have 3 kids to feed, and I need the money to spend on things. I'm also in the process of building Emergency Fund up to 1 year due to unstable work. And I'm considering buying a rental property which will require downpayment and interim cash-flow. I'm in the 12% bracket so deferring the tax isn't as attractive as it would be if I were in a higher bracket. I think it's better to max HSA than 401k, so I max HSA and contribute only the 6% to 401k to get the employer match and that's it.

I know it's not a boglehead-ish thing to say, but stock valuations are high and bond funds are dropping right now so that's another reason to not contribute more to my 401k. I'm comfortable with my current choices. If we were after a big stock correction and/or bond yields were a little better I would be more motivated to invest.
Timing is a loser's game. If we had a big stock correction, do you think it would take a year for the market to rise from there or longer? You are limited by either your employer or IRS regulations on what you can contribute to your plan each year, each you don't contribute is 1 year + compounding you will miss out on.

I can understand your line of thinking because you have more pressing needs: 3 kids and other family needs. With less than 1 year in savings, I advise you to put that idea of rental property on the backburner until you are able to stabilize.
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High Income Parent
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by High Income Parent »

I’m at 56% and then I still have to pay health insurance since I don’t get it through my employer. That would drop it to 54%.

Maxing our 401k and long term disability.
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scrabbler1
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by scrabbler1 »

Even though I have been retired for the last nearly 10 years, I'll play.

At the end of my working days, I was working part-time so I had become ineligible for 401k matching and group health. With zero being taken from my paycheck for those 2 things, I saw 74% of my gross pay in my take-home pay. Going a little further back to when I was working enough hours to be eligible for those 2 benefits, I saw 61% of my gross pay in my take-home pay.
Glockenspiel
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Glockenspiel »

42%, but I max out my 401k, HSA, contribute $5k to daycare FSA, and carry our employer-sponsored health insurance.
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Shackleton
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Shackleton »

63.2 % of gross. Included maxing 401k+catch-up contribution, health insurance, disability, life insurance, and of course fed and state taxes. We owed about $700 on our 1040 for 2017 and according to TaxCaster will be getting back about $200 this year.
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tibbitts
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by tibbitts »

Not invasive but not useful either. My net the past couple of years has been around 20% of gross, and the gross is well under six figures. Now that was useful because...?
28fe6
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by 28fe6 »

Silverado wrote: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:36 am
28fe6 wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:06 pm Because I don't make all that much money, my wife makes no money, I have 3 kids to feed, and I need the money to spend on things. I'm also in the process of building Emergency Fund up to 1 year due to unstable work. And I'm considering buying a rental property which will require downpayment and interim cash-flow. I'm in the 12% bracket so deferring the tax isn't as attractive as it would be if I were in a higher bracket. I think it's better to max HSA than 401k, so I max HSA and contribute only the 6% to 401k to get the employer match and that's it.

I know it's not a boglehead-ish thing to say, but stock valuations are high and bond funds are dropping right now so that's another reason to not contribute more to my 401k. I'm comfortable with my current choices. If we were after a big stock correction and/or bond yields were a little better I would be more motivated to invest.
So which is it? You need more take home or you are market timing? If you are just waiting to time the market, there are likely places to park the money that have no risk as you wait. Even at that low tax rate, getting dollars sheltered could make sense. At least put most of any raise into your 401k.
I need more take home at the moment in order to bolster my EF. At least that's my rationalization. If I change my mind about the bigger EF and decide it's too big, I can defer up to 11k into a tIRA later, after doing my 2018 taxes, which is about the same amount of deferral as maxing my 401k.

I actually contribute all 401k deposits into a MM fund. Every quarter or so I rebalance back to my AA from the small cash pool in my 401k. This results in a small varying cash allocation but that doesn't bother me. My AA is 60/40 and i used to contribute 60/40 but it bothered me to continuously contribute the "wrong" amounts then go in every 6 mo rebalance. It made more sense to contribute varying AA amounts in order to correct the account AA, but that required frequent checking and updating the contribution. Now I contribute to a MM account and rebalance from it. It's quirky but it works for me.
Last edited by 28fe6 on Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
28fe6
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by 28fe6 »

duplicate
MtnBiker
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by MtnBiker »

Now retired, but for the last few years I was working part time and directing all of my remaining earned income to Roth 401k. In addition, was withdrawing money from taxable account for personal and spousal Roth IRA contributions.

So:

0% take-home/gross

-65% (take-home - individual Roth contributions)/gross
JEC
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by JEC »

37%

Taxes
Max Roth 401(k)
Max HSA
Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance
Loan Repayment (Interest-Free Loan For CPA Study Materials)
dsmil
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by dsmil »

75% here. 8% for fed/state, 7% for SS/Med, 7% for health/dental, 3% to 401k. We won't owe or receive a refund at tax time.
rich126
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by rich126 »

Since I'm not a budget person (i.e., sadly don't track expenses) I use this number as a high end as to what I need in retirement. Figuring if I'm only taking home "$x" then at most I'll need that post retirement. And then further reduce it since I won't have any mortgage expenses.

As to my actual take home/gross I believe it is in the 47% range.
Admiral
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Admiral »

Me: 55%
Spouse: 57%

Max 403b/457 (37k), pension contribution, deductions for med/dental/vision, extra $300/mo withholding, and (natch) lots and lots of taxes. Also sizable employer retirement contribution but that's not "take home" dollars.
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Ice-9
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Ice-9 »

My take home is currently 57.7% of my gross.

I contribute a good bit to, but don't max, my workplace retirement plans. Also do the max to an FSA.
GlacierRunner
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by GlacierRunner »

52.3%
Dottie57
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Dottie57 »

Age 60. Last year it was 49%. Retired this year.

Fully funded 401k (24k)
Fully funded HSA.
Healthcare insurance for 1
Also used corporate giving site for charitable donations.
trueson1
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by trueson1 »

52%

after maxing pre-tax 401K, maxing after tax 401K, state and federal taxes, medical, dental and disability insurance, pre-tax medical savings
stinkycat
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by stinkycat »

At one time my wife was contributing 80% of her take home pay until she hit the max. So her take home was less than 10% of the gross. We used to laugh at her dollar per hour. Her employer contributes a fixed percentage, and she wasn't sure if she was going to stay in the job so it made sense to take home as little as possible. My employer will only take out the amount I tell them to, no more no less. So if I have $500 to the maximum and I am withdrawing $1000 a pay period, they take out nothing. Kind of annoying.
Frank Grimes
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by Frank Grimes »

On my last paycheck, 48%.

I am maxing 401k, maxing HSA, putting $5k/yr in a dependent care FSA, paying for parking pretax and covering family health insurance. Not to mention the taxes. By the time the poor guy makes it to my checking account he's been broken beaten and scarred!
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aj76er
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by aj76er »

~45%

Max 401k, max HSA, and other typical mega Corp expenses (medical insurance premiums, LT disability premiums, etc)

Also a little extra withholding for taxes (historically to make up for ESPP sales), but I'm thinking of stopping this, which would bump the percentage closer to 50%
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GetMeToRetirement
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by GetMeToRetirement »

~55%

Includes automatic deductions before take home pay that include taxes, max 401k, max HSA, 529 contributions, benefits, and a charitable donation.
new2bogle
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by new2bogle »

46%

Max out 401k, HSA, ESPP, some misc deductions (small) and 25K/year into mega back door.
TLB
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by TLB »

Start of the year 53.6%
Now with FICA and State Disability paid up 63.4 %
Max 401-K
new2bogle
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by new2bogle »

TLB wrote: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:05 pm Start of the year 53.6%
Now with FICA and State Disability paid up 63.4 %
Max 401-K
How did you pay up FICA? my mega-corp splits it into small equal chunks and I pay throughout the year.
TLB
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by TLB »

new2bogle wrote: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:15 pm
TLB wrote: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:05 pm Start of the year 53.6%
Now with FICA and State Disability paid up 63.4 %
Max 401-K
How did you pay up FICA? my mega-corp splits it into small equal chunks and I pay throughout the year.
Bonus took care of it.
grog
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by grog »

Currently 58%. Taxes and 401K are the big items. Then there's HSA and insurance which are relatively small. It fluctuates throughout the year with my 401K percentage.

I remember when I started out and I was just contributing up to match it was like 71% and I thought that was highway robbery.
H-Town
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Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Post by H-Town »

fantasytensai wrote: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:52 pm For those of us still in the corporate grind, especially the W-2ers, I was curious what your typical take home pay / gross pay ratio is. I feel that this is one of the less invasive questions on the sub since it's asking for a percentage rather than a number.

For the purposes of this survey, take home pay is the actual amount of cash deposited into your bank account each payroll, so if you get paid bi-weekly, it is your bi-weekly pay X 26. If you are paid twice a month, it would be X 24. It is NOT the W-2 wage referred to on your 1040 form. To keep things as simple as possible, let's not include bonuses. Also, it would be helpful to include if you receive a big refund (meaning you withheld too much), or owed taxes (withheld too little).

I will get things started. Both my wife and I are W-2 employees. Our take home pay divided by gross pay for 2017 was 54.65%. We received a $100 refund. We maxed both pre-tax 401(k)s.

Thanks for your input!

Edit: Changed to correct pay frequency. Thanks!
Excluding bonus, it ranges from 63% - 69% YTD. Max 401k, max flex spending, minimize federal tax withholding (yeah I don't like to give the Treasury interest-free loan. I put fed tax in a saving account to earn interest myself).
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