An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

As children, few of us envisioned careers in long term care insurance advocacy, financial advising, or law. Personally, I harbored dreams of being the President of the United States, an astronaut, a scientist, an Army soldier, and eventually an attorney. When I was a child, my heroes were the soldiers of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. For my friends and me, our backyards, parks, and playgrounds became war zones in which we could be the heroes that vanquished evil. We also looked up to police officers and firefighters who made regular visits to our classrooms, allowing us to see them as allies and people we could readily seek out in times of need. Officer Friendly was more than just a catchy marketing phrase; it was how we viewed these important authority figures in our lives. Just as these figures provided a sense of safety, so too does the concept of preventive measures in various aspects of life.

Whether installing smoke detectors, visiting doctors for regular check-ups, or wearing seatbelts while driving, the principle remains consistent: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We are reminded of this important principle from Benjamin Franklin with insurance commercials featuring a man who would call his agent after a car accident or a house fire. For him, it is too late. Being in the crisis mode greatly curtailed his options for any form of insurance protection.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” remains one of Benjamin Franklin’s most famous sayings. The word ounce means something exceedingly small—just two one-hundredths of a kilogram to be exact. So, to clarify his expression, when dealing with a problem, spending a small amount of time and effort early on is a sound investment. It can save you more trouble in the end.

Historians say that when Franklin first used this expression, he was not talking about disease or other calamities but rather fire prevention. During a visit to Boston in 1733, Franklin was impressed with the city’s fire prevention methods, and he tried to bring some of these practices back to Philadelphia where he lived. Allegedly, Franklin sent an unsigned letter to his own newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette. Published on February 4, 1735, his letter “Protection of Towns from Fire,” began with the expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Then he wrote about how a city should prepare itself for a fire.

From protecting yourself against sickness to preventing a house fire, this expression can be used in serious situations. The decision to purchase long term care insurance is a prime example of this principle in action. Delaying this crucial decision can have significant consequences, as eligibility for coverage diminishes with age.

While we pay for this important risk mitigator with our money—our wealth—we purchase it with our health! The single largest cost related to putting off the purchase of long term care insurance can often be our very eligibility. Sadly, most clients do not realize that the potential their application for coverage will be declined increases dramatically as they age.

We are now the Officers Friendly of the 21st Century. We can genuinely assist people in pre-crisis mode as they acquire their ounce of prevention: Planning for their long term care with a wide array of traditional, hybrid, asset-based, or annuity products. Failing that, we can enter their lives when they are in crisis mode and offer a Medicaid Compliant Annuity.

In today’s fast-paced world, where daily distractions and responsibilities come at us in record speed, we must remember another pearl of wisdom attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” This quote serves as a reminder of the importance of seizing opportunities and overcoming procrastination. At its core, Franklin’s words urge us to prioritize action and productivity and to avoid undesired consequences that may accompany these acts of procrastination. I cannot envision a more tragic consequence than facing the need for long term care without the benefits and peace of mind that a long term care insurance policy would provide, simply because they kicked the can down the road and never prioritized it.

Don Levin, JD, MPA, CLF, CSA, LTCP, CLTC, is now the Strategic Relations Director for the Krause Agency following their acquisition of USA-LTC. Levin is the past three-term chairman of the board of the National Long Term Care Network and the past president and CEO of USA-LTC.

Levin has been in the long term care industry since 1999, during which time he has been an award-winning agent, district manager, regional sales manager, marketing director, associate general agent, general agent, and divisional vice president. Levin is also a former practicing Attorney-at-Law, court-appointed arbitrator and is a retired U.S. Army officer.

In addition to his various law and life and health insurance licenses, and the above designations, Levin has also earned Green Belt certification through GE’s Six Sigma program and is a graduate of GAMA International’s Essentials of Leadership and Management. He has also taught Managing Goal Achievement®, Integrity Selling® and The Way to Wealth® to hundreds of leaders and salespeople over the past fifteen years.

He previously possessed FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses. Levin earned his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School, his MPA from the University of Oklahoma, and his BA from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Defense Strategy Course, U.S. Army War College.
He is a published author of fourteen books in a wide range of genres.

Levin may be reached via telephone at (800) 255-1932. Email: