The 2021 Retirement and Annuity Interactive Atlas – ThinkAdvisor

If you want to advise clients where to live, or simply to generate content for websites, newsletters and social media posts, you may look enviously at the elegant maps appearing on newspapers and news websites.

The maps show everything from where the rich people live to what’s happening to nursing home vacancy rates.

Today, you can get maps like that, too, for free.

All you have to do is look for free federal mapping tools. Agencies like the U.S. Census Bureau, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Reserve System and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are packaging more and more of their data together with mapping tools.

Site visitors can use the tools to feed the data into maps without knowing anything about map software.

Agents, brokers and other financial professionals can use the maps free of charge, without worrying about copyright restrictions, because the maps are seen as works created by the federal government.

Here are 10 of the federal agency mapping tools that could be especially useful to financial professionals who are helping clients with annuities and retirement planning.

General Demographics

1. Data.Census.Gov Mapping Tool 

Agency: U.S. Census Bureau

Latest Data Update: 2019

Use this to create maps showing what kinds of people live where. Much of the data can be mapped at the city or county level.


2. Data.Census.Gov Mapping Tool: Retirement Income

Agency: U.S. Census Bureau

Latest Data Update: 2019

Search on Data.Census.Gov for “retirement.” The tables that come up can be used to create showing where people have wage earnings, Social Security benefits or private retirement benefits.

3. Old-Age Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits at the State Level

Agency: Social Security Administration (SSA)

Latest Data Update: 2015

Here’s how the SSA slices and dices its own Social Security benefits data.

Hovering the mouse pointer over a state retails state Social Security benefits details, such as how many children of workers are receiving Social Security retirement benefits, how many widows are getting survivors benefits, and how many workers are collecting Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Pension Plans

4. State and Local Government Pension Funding Status, 2002-2018

Agency: Federal Reserve

Latest Data Update: 2018

This collection of maps can be used to show state or local government employees why, in many states, depending solely on a government employee pension plan for future retirement income may be a bad idea.

Consumer Financial Status

5. Year-Over-Year Home Price Changes

Agency: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Latest Data Update: April 2021

This map can help homeowner clients see how home prices have changed over time.

6. County-Level Debt-to-Income Ratio

Agency: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Latest Data Update: 2020

7. Mortgage Non-Payments by State

Agency: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Latest Data: February 2021

This map can help financial services companies see where many consumers are borrowing and how debt loads have changed over time.

Also, this map can help clients see where consumer stress levels are changing.


8: Animated Historical Cancer Atlas

Agency: National Cancer Institute, GIS Portal for Cancer Research

Latest Data:  2015

This map can help clients who are analyzing future health care financing needs understand how likely it is that people in different states, and different regions within states,  get various types of cancer, such as brain or breast cancer.

9. Interactive Atlas of Chronic Conditions

Agency: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Latest Data: 2018

This map shows the prevalence of a wide variety of disorders, including high blood pressure, liver problems, depression and drug use.


10. Annuity Best Interest Map

Organization: A.D. Bakers & Co.

Latest Date: June 15

This map was created by a private organization and is subject to copyright rules. It may be useful for a financial professional who wants to know which states have done what about annuity sales suitability and best interest standards.

U.S. telecommunications grid map (Image: rsvzarvas)

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