I was born and raised in New Jersey and I can never see myself leaving. I was born in Newark, raised in Union City, then lived in Marlboro, Old Bridge, Eatontown, East Windsor and now Roosevelt. You could say New Jersey is in my blood and unlike Bill Spadea's "I'm digging in," I'm pretty much dug in and buried. The problem here is in the burial.

With each passing year, it gets harder and harder to stay in New Jersey. It's like the state does everything it can to drive those of us who have spent their lives here away, while doing nothing to attract those who could come here and contribute. When I see the regrets some have about retiring in New Jersey, it gives me pause. As much as I want to spend my entire life in New Jersey, I don't want the golden years of that life to be wasted trying to keep solvent and not being able to take advantage of the pleasure that those who have moved out of state to retire have.

Regardless of where I end up, New Jersey will always be in my heart, but I also want it all around me. We need to find a way to keep those who have lived here all of their life from wanting to go. Perhaps some kind of "lifer" tax write off, so that those of us who have lived here our entire lives and want to spend the rest of it here, can do so.

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