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Long-term care costs continue to rise. According to a recent study commissioned by New York Life Insurance Company‘s Long-Term Care Division, the average cost for nursing home care and in-home care spiked significantly in 2007. Costs for both private and semi-private nursing home care jumped nearly 3% from 2006, the study found. The average cost of a private room with a single occupant rose to $209 per day, or $76,322 per year, while semi-private rooms, based on double occupancy, rose to an average of $185 per day, or $67,554 per year. The study also found that nationwide, the average private room rate increased by $5.36 per day, or $1,956 per year. The average semi-private room rate rose by $5.27 per day, or $1,924 per year. Alaska tops the list of the five most expensive regions for private nursing home care, at $407 per day. Southern Connecticut comes in second at $348 per day, while Connecticut’s Connecticut Valley is third at $322 per day. New York’s Hudson Valley is fourth at $318 per day, while the Boston area comes in fifth at $299 per day.

Planning Corporation of America (PCA), a subsidiary of Raymond James & Associates, recently provided its advisors with a list and analysis of the living benefits of each of the 17 variable annuity products offered through the firm. The number one question PCA receives from its advisors, notes PCA President Scott Stolz, is “Who offers the best living benefit?” So PCA published a report that describes each benefit offered by an annuity along with a comparison of the various benefits if the product offers more than one; a summary of PCA’s opinion of the benefit’s design, both pro and con; and a recommendation as to when the benefit should be used. The report also discusses when the three types of living benefits–Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB), Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit (GMIB) or Guaranteed Minimum Account Benefit (GMAB)–are most appropriate.

Jackson National Life Insurance Company recently added five new underlying investment strategies subadvised by Standard & Poor’s Investment Advisory Services to its Perspective family of variable annuities. The five strategies include the JNL/S&P Competitive Advantage, Dividend and Income Growth, Intrinsic Value, Total Yield, and JNL/S&P 4, which blends all four strategies. In addition to the new S&P strategies, Jackson has also launched LifeGuard Select, a new guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit (GMWB), and FutureGuard 6, a new guaranteed minimum income benefit (GMIB).

ExpertPlan, a provider of private-labeled recordkeeping solutions to asset management firms, TPAs, RIAs, and broker/dealers based in Princeton, New Jersey, is partnering with AccountantsWorld to provide full-service retirement solutions to accountants and their clients via the AccountantsWorld Retirement Relief platform. The platform will allow AccountantsWorld, a provider of Web-based accounting software solutions to accountants, to offer its own fully customized Internet-based retirement product using ExpertPlan’s recordkeeping technology. Chandra Bhansali, president and co-founder of AccountantsWorld, says that by partnering with ExpertPlan, the company can now “satisfy its unique requirement–to offer an integrated 401(k) plan for its Payroll Relief application and a retirement solution for its 110,000 AccountantsWorld community members.”


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