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The Standard Insurance Company

The Standard Insurance Company raises the bar for insurance care for a number of reasons. For one, it makes available a diverse range of products at competitive prices, and then it offers expert advice and personal service to its customers. Most importantly, the company has remained financially strong through the years despite fluctuations in the economic scene. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Standard has remained the standard for delivering quality products and services in the insurance business.

The Standard is in fact a group of companies based in the United States. It carries under its name the Standard Insurance Company of Portland, Oregon, as well as Standard Life Insurance Company of New York, based in White Plains, New York. The former is active and has license to operate in all the states of America except New York, which is covered by the latter. The Standard per se serves as the group's marketing arm, operating under StanCorp Financial Group, Inc.

The Standard Insurance Company of Portland, Oregon and Standard Life Insurance Company of New York have variations in their offerings and terms. The products discussed here are those offered in Standard Insurance Company of Portland, which fall under three general categories: Insurance, Investments, and Retirement plans.

The Standard's individual insurance coverage includes life, accidental death and dismemberment, disability, dental, vision, and annuities. It likewise offers group insurance through companies or businesses, which include retirement, life and disability coverage. As for its retirement plans, they fall under two main types: Defined Contribution Plans, and Defined Benefit Plans. Defined Contribution includes the 401(k), 403(b) and 457 - plans which are offered mainly in conjunction with the type of business one is currently working in. For instance, 401(k) is the retirement plan available in for-profit and non-profit enterprises; 403(b) is the retirement plan available in public schools, universities and churches; and 457 is the plan for public employees working in the state or local government offices. All these retirement plans can be availed by the employee through his company, who is the one subscribing to the insurance company to write the plans in force. The beauty of these plans is that it is up to the contributor to determine how much money would be set aside for his retirement. In addition, savings are tax deferred. This means that if an employee earns $50,000 and he sets aside $10,000 for his retirement plan, only $40,000 of his income will be subjected to taxes. Thus, this arrangement offers double savings - first from taxes, and second in growing the individual's nest egg. It is definitely a great way to grow one's retirement funds!

In comparison, the Defined Benefit Plans has a fixed rate monthly contribution, which is made by the employer for the employee. The monthly revenue is generally computed based on the employee's years of service with the company and current salary. Once the employee retires, he will receive a monthly "salary" much like a pension plan works. This option is offered by Standard Insurance to businesses who wish to offer their employees this benefit to encourage long-term services with the company.

The Standard likewise offers Profit Share and Money Purchase retirement plans to companies. In both plans, contributions are made by the employer as a future retirement benefit to the employee. The difference is, with Profit Share, contributions are based on the profit made by the company, which is divided among the workers. As for Money Purchase, the contribution is pegged at a definite amount regardless of the company's profit.

Aside from these retirement plans, The Standard provides its clients a pre-programmed calculator so they can determine how much insurance they will need. With this tool, clients - or even those who are just plain curious - simply encode the data asked such as a person's monthly income, monthly household expenses, and monthly living expenses. After inputting all the necessary information, the calculator will reveal how much the family would actually need should the primary breadwinner die, lose his job or become too ill to work. Aside from this, doing the calculator exercise allows a family to assess their spending habits, and if they are already in the red, can give them a clear idea on what areas to cut expenses from. For instance, under monthly living expenses, they can see exactly where their money goes: how much goes for childcare, education, medical expenses, insurance (if they already have one), and personal expenses. Should they find that their personal expenses are at an alarming high, then that is a definite signal to cut back on unnecessary expenditures. Alternatively, if they see that their medical expenses are consistently high, then it is probably high time to consider getting a medical insurance which may not only be cheaper but will provide the family security as well, particularly in a big emergency.

Lastly, The Standard offers investment options through its StanCorp Investment Advisers. There are different money-growing vehicles an individual can ride to attain his financial goal. And if you are with Standard, you can increase and secure your assets at the same time.