We are co-authors - Diane Marshall and Karen Beal (me) - and have written a big, beautiful FREE guide about living in the Upper Keys for people who live here. With all the guides to the Keys aimed at visitors, this is a first. "Keys to Living, A Practical Guide to Living a Long Life in Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada" contains resources on healthcare services, wealth and ways to handle your finances, services provided by Monroe County and the State of Florida, ways to stay engaged in the community including places to volunteer, parks and recreation and how to find more help, services and support if you are finding life difficult, particularly as we grow old.
Diane and I have lived in the Keys for a long time - My husband, Ike, and me now 43 years - Diane and her husband, John, for 25 years, Obviously we love it here, but we do see some problems that could made better. Navigating the waters here can be tricky and navigating life here can be tricky too. We also have seen some good people have to leave the area to find what they need in life.
Diane and I have been friends for many years and have worked with several groups like the Mac User Group and GLEE - Green Living & Energy Education. So we enjoy learning and sharing information. We planned to write a pamphlet of information we learned over the years going through our parents and friends growing old, such as solving logistical problems and being able to age in your own home. Realizing we were heading into our 60s and would be facing similar issues a decade or so down the road, we started doing more research on retirement, staying healthy and enjoying our lives here in the Keys. The pamphlet to help seniors blossomed into a big book.
Starting June 20th, we will be giving soft-bound books away at community meetings and the libraries in Key Largo and Islamorada will have copies to give out. But the eBook is ready now and free to download. You can do that at www.floridakeysliving.org . We think the eBook will be most popular since everyone seems to have a tablet, smart phone or computer these days. We will be adding content to the webpage written by local experts in their field. So there will always be something new to see. There is also a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/keystoliving where we hope people will share good deals, fun times to be had and tips to make the most of living here.
We all deserve to have a great life, a good time and share that with each other. This is our way of doing that.