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The AARP Public Policy Institute focuses on issues of critical importance as we age. Below we highlight research, analysis, background and commentary on Consumer Protection.
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Ten years after its creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) complaint database serves as a powerful tool for individuals to file complaints about a financial product or service, to see that their voices are heard, and in some cases to obtain relief. This report examines complaints filed with the CFPB from individuals self-reporting as older adults, largely focused on the time period from January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2021. Read
With a close eye on the all-important question of cost – that is, the cost to victims, financial institutions, and government budgets – AARP BankSafe™’s report defines financial exploitation, summarizes the methodologies and findings of studies that have examined its costs, and sheds light on what we know about both victims and perpetrators. Read
Based on a series of 2019 roundtables organized by the AARP Public Policy Institute and National Partnership for Women & Families on the rapidly accelerating use and sharing of health information, this paper summarizes what excites and concerns consumer and family caregiver advocates as well as policy options that should be considered as the field continues to innovate. Read
College costs have risen dramatically over the past several decades. This report compares college costs from 1964-1965 up through the present day, and examines how higher costs—and increased borrowing—may affect young workers’ future retirement security. Read
Student loan debt is an intergenerational problem, burdening borrowers of all ages and threatening the long-term financial security of millions of families. This paper examines the landscape of student loan debt with a focus on older borrowers, including increasing loan balances, defaults, taking on debt to help family members, and the implication for long-term financial security. Read
Older consumers are vulnerable to cold weather, and many have difficulty paying for home heating during winter months. The percentage of households ages 65+ using energy assistance programs doubled from 2.6 percent in 2011 to 5.2 percent in 2015. Read
An AARP Public Policy Institute survey finds that Internet users of all ages are concerned about security and privacy, and that concern is strongest among older Americans. Read
Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), AARP is seeking partners within the financial industry to create a free online training program that will help employees in local financial institutions to detect and prevent exploitation. Selected coalitions will receive from AARP a grant of $10,000 to help develop and disseminate training to banks and credit unions to assist with its BankSafe Initiative. Read
An AARP Public Policy Institute survey finds that Internet users are accumulating large amounts of digital assets, but many have not planned for the disposition of their digital assets in the event of death or incapacitation. This lack of action can result in heirs losing access to their loved one’s digital assets. Read
How livable is your community?
This report showcases simple and effective solutions financial institutions are using to fight exploitation. Read
This study measures account holders' interest in features related to preventing exploitation and financial caregiving, and interest in greater banking accessibility. Read
This is the first study to measure the progression of the mortgage crisis and its effect on people age 50 and older. Based on an analysis of nationwide loan-level data for the years 2007 to 2011, this study examines loan performance based on borrower age, loan type, and borrower demographics. Read
Mobile device use continues to increase amid growing concern that consumers are unaware how much sensitive data these devices can capture and share. Read
How professional guardians decide where incapacitated adults should live, and recommendations for improving the process. Read
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Susan Reinhard is senior vice president and director of AARP Public Policy Institute. Read her latest blogs on family caregiving, healthy living, nursing and more. Read Susan's Blogs
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