I first heard the term economic outpatient care (EOC) in the book “The Millionaire Next Door” by authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. There’s actually an entire chapter in the book devoted to it. EOC refers to the affluent parents’ act of giving money (on a regular basis) to their adult children (who normally have jobs of their own). The authors believe that EOC tends to encourage laziness among the recipients and instill a false sense of security in them. Apparently, instead of empowering them, they are weakened by this financial practice.
I have seen and I know of working adults who continue to receive money from their well-off parents. This could be in the form of cash gift and most of the time, debt (the kind that is intentionally unpaid or forgotten to be paid). From what I have noticed, the recipients tend to use up the money on luxuries instead of growing it through savings or investments. Sad, but true.
EOC doesn’t only happen between parents and children but also among relatives and friends. I don’t know if I’d be a recipient myself had my parents been wealthy, but I have some relatives coming to me to ask for financial help so somehow, I know how it feels to be on the other end of the line (i.e. the benefactor).
Just the other day, my cousin from the father’s side messaged me on Facebook to ask for money. He’s a tricycle driver in the province and is currently serving as breadwinner of his family. He’s currently having a hard time making ends meet. I’ve helped him several times already and now he’s at it again. My heart wants to continue giving, but my mind says otherwise.
That cousin of mine has made use of all the imaginable reasons, from a sick mother and a dying pet dog to a business he wants to put up and a motorcycle that is on the verge of being taken back by the creditor. One time, he said he had recently joined a band as a side job and their band leader wanted to buy a universal guitar interface (something like an irig for android) but didn’t have the funds yet. He wanted to borrow money from me to help finance that. I’m not sure if he’s just making up stories or what. I’ve reached this point where I don’t believe 100% of what he says anymore.
Helping other people in need is good but when the very people you are trying to help is not helping themselves, it can get tiring. I hope and pray they soon realize that standing on their two feet remains to be the best option and honestly, the most dignified way to live. Receiving EOC is just a band-aid solution to a financial problem that could get permanent in the long run. The earlier they realize this, the better for their future.
Any thoughts on EOC? I’d love to hear them! 🙂