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September 2009

A Letter from the Comptroller

Texas is a magnet to the young and old alike. We have one of the nation’s youngest work forces and, as you will read in this issue of Fiscal Notes, we’re increasingly popular as a retirement destination for baby boomers.

Susan Combs

Fortunately, our state provides ample choices of where and how to live — from our fast-growing cities to country back roads and all points between.

We look at a few of those choices in this issue.

Our biggest cities have “lifestyle centers” where residents can live, eat, shop and even work at one site, sometimes miles from downtown. Other Texans have chosen to live outside the cities, beyond the suburbs, in “exurbs” — once-rural areas such as Burnet County that balance the benefits and challenges of growth.

I’m lucky. I get to experience both the fast pace of living near downtown Austin and the solitude of the occasional weekend on my ranch in far West Texas.

I love both.

I think all Texans enjoy the sheer size of our state — the variety of its landscapes.

In Austin, I’m within walking distance of stores, restaurants, coffee shops, Lady Bird Lake and Deep Eddy Pool. I also find I’m very driven, energetic — and often surrounded by four walls. I’m conscious of being focused on the 30 or 40 feet around me.

Driving the 405 miles to the ranch — yes, I know the exact mileage — my vision broadens. It’s almost like a lens adjustment. I’m looking 30 or 40 miles away, not 30 or 40 feet.

Life on the ranch is more physical. There’s no shortage of things that must be done. And if it’s going to get done, you have to do it yourself.

Driving back, I feel my vision narrowing, focusing on my family, friends and the exciting job that awaits me in the bustling capital city.

I think all Texans enjoy the sheer size of our state — the variety of its landscapes. It helps us see the possibilities that living in Texas offers.

Susan Combs

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