The best things in life are not only free - they also arrive before we hit middle-age, it seems.

In fact, when it comes to milestones, most of the positive ones happen before we turn 50.

The average Briton feels healthiest at 30, has the best sex at 32, feels most successful in their career at 38 and is happiest at 39, a survey revealed yesterday.

The greatest contentment in relationships comes at 40, our dream salary is achieved two years later and we are at the height of our earning power at 47. The fact that the best of health and wealth is behind us at such a relatively early age perhaps explains why fewer than a quarter of people - 23 per cent - say they want to live forever.


Psychologist Donna Dawson said: "Most of the high points in our lives occur in our 30s.

"This is because we have laid a foundation beforehand. In our 20s we leave university, start a job, try a few relationships out for size, make plenty of mistakes and learn from them and work out what we really want from life.

"By 30 we are physically in our prime, still advancing our careers and more sure of what we want. This brings self-confidence and contentment. However, it is not surprising that immortality is not something universally desired. We still have to deal with the ageing process and the health and financial issues that come with it.

"The experience of 'first best' in anything is so good because it is a milestone that can't be equalled in intensity or specialness by being repeated, no matter how long you live."

The survey of 2000 adults was carried out to mark the DVD and Blu-ray release on Monday of the 2015 movie The Last Witch Hunter, in which Vin Diesel plays a man cursed with immortality.