New York City is hoping to improve the lives of elderly residents by doing things like increasing street crossing times at major intersections by four seconds (do this at Delancey Street, please!), operating school buses for grocery store runs, and just making NYC a kinder, gentler place, the New York Times reports. But this is not simply because New York wants to be nice to old people: It’s also because, statistically speaking, old people have a lot of money to spend — half of the country’s discretionary spending, in fact.
Still, we won’t look a gift horse in the mouth, because these improvements benefit everyone. Plus, old people are likely to take us over in the end, like, when we suddenly realize we’re one of them:
The Department of City Planning predicts that in 20 years, New York’s shares of schoolchildren and older people will be about the same, 15 percent each, a sharp change from 1950, when schoolchildren outnumbered older residents by more than 2 to 1. By 2030, the number of New Yorkers age 65 and over — a result of the baby boomers, diminished fertility and increasing longevity — is expected to reach 1.35 million, up 44 percent from 2000.
Other things desired by the olds: corner drugstores where they let you have a drink of water and use the bathroom, personal shoppers to help you find deals, better street drainage to avoid getting your feet wet in those nasty puddles. Well, we all want those things, don’t we? Thanks, Grandpa!