DENVER (CBS4) An insurance industry survey finds that fewer middle aged Americans are buying life insurance. The numbers show that between 2008 and 2013, there was a 35-percent decline in the number of middle aged Americans carrying life insurance. Many of them say the weak economy is the reason.

One Denver mother is on a mission to change that. Essie Curtis-Rockwell suffered the loss of her husband two years ago. Paul Rockwell was a pastor at a local church, a beloved husband, and the father of four. He died suddenly and had no life insurance for his family to fall back on.

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“You think… you’re young… because he was 42…so…you don’t need that insurance,” Curtis-Rockwell told CBS4.

Faced with funeral expenses, loss of income, and kids who planned to go to college, Curtis-Rockwell has struggled financially. She says that a life insurance policy could have made all the difference in the world.

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“Be prepared… don’t wait,” Curtis-Rockwell offered advice for others.

“It’s peace of mind to know that now you can proceed in life with the dreams and goals that you want, knowing that heaven forbid if something happens your family is taken care of,” said Sean Slater, a State Farm agent.

State Farm hopes to open the conversation about life insurance with the help of a couple of online tools. The insurance company is partnered with for the Family Bucket List. You can make a list of your families’ financial dreams, like college, a second home, or anything that’s important to your family, then you can make the life insurance decisions that will help fund those dreams.

“There are products that offer living benefits, so in the form of cash values. And sometimes those values may be used to supplement things that people are trying to accomplish while they’re alive,” Slater added.

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On the State Farm website, there is a life insurance calculator. It’s an easy, interactive way to determine how much life insurance you need. The younger, and healthier you are when you buy life insurance, the better deal you can get on it.