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PROTECTING CONSUMER SAFETY—Toys should not be toxic or dangerous for children to play with. Our food should not make us sick. The terms for banking and credit accounts should be clear and easy to understand.
LOOKING OUT FOR The Public
PIRGIM Education Fund’s consumer program works to alert the public to hidden dangers and scams and to ban anti-consumer practices and unsafe products.
TROUBLE IN TOYLAND
For 30 years, PIRGIM Education Fund’s "Trouble In Toyland" report has surveyed store shelves and identified choking hazards, noise hazards and other dangers. Our report has led to at least 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years.
BIGGER BANKS, BIGGER FEES
In April, PIRGIM Education Fund released a report in which we surveyed more than 350 bank branches and revealed that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers, while one in four provided no fee information at all. We also found that despite widespread stories about the “death” of free checking, free and low-cost checking choices are still widely available, if consumers shop around.
Even with the knowledge I’ve gained working as a consumer advocate for several years, getting my finances in order has been a work in progress.
Until recently, I did not have estate and end-of-life planning in mind, but it was the natural next step in my quest to be a responsible adult, with a nudge from the existential threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advance directives are legal instructions that include a living will (different from a regular will) and a health care proxy. In them, you state what treatments you do or don’t want at the end of your life and who you want making health care decisions for you if you can’t.
Before listening to In Case You Get Hit By a Bus, I didn’t know about insurance that covers the costs of long-term care, such as home health care or nursing home care, for people who need assistance with daily living activities.
Getting my finances in order has been a work in progress over several years, starting with tackling credit card debt, paying off my car loan and then building an emergency fund.
After clearing those hurdles, I set more defined financial goals and plans in motion this year, including automatic deposits into new investment accounts.
Tools & Resources
Seeking Compensation for Consumers and Environment
An Analysis of Complaints, and Results, From the CFPB
Your donation supports PIRGIM's work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.