The sale of life insurance in the U.S. began in the late 1760s. On May 2, 1759, the charter was recorded for the Corporation for Relief of Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers. Episcopalian priests created a comparable relief fund in 1769. Between 1787 and 1837 more than two dozen life insurance companies were started, but fewer than half a dozen survived.

Life insurance can do some pretty amazing things for people. It can buy loved ones time to grieve. It can pay off debts and loans, providing surviving family members with the chance to move on with a clean slate. It can keep families in their homes and pre-fund a child’s college education. It can keep a family business in the family. It can provide a stream of income for a family to live on for a period of time. [courtesy National Day of Calendar]

I am in that age group where my friends are starting to lose their spouses, and some are just dealing with losing their parents. Life insurance is mentioned often with the main question being, “Do you have any?” Too often, I hear, “Well, we bought some years ago, but couldn’t continue to keep paying for it.” From my friends that are already widows and widowers who didn’t have an active life insurance policy, let me tell you, that is the wrong answer.

The younger you are when you take out life insurance, not expensive term life, but whole life, the less your payments will be. I suggest you look at that payment as important as the electric bill. In the future, you will be glad you did. Even a small insurance policy is better than none. With funerals now costing over $5000.00 in the U. S. just that bill could be enough to stagger the finances and cause a person to stumble into the “new normal”.

My friends who have become single because of a death who have been able to stay in their homes without financial worries are happier than those who found themselves suddenly in an apartment. Of course I realize age and health of the surviving spouse (or children) also plays a role in where they live.

Please be kind to yourself and plan ahead for financial freedom for your surviving family members by buying life insurance early.