Researchers who carried out a detailed investigation into the key milestone years of life, also found we are most body confident when we are 31, but doing the best in our careers at the age of 38.
Other major moments in our lives include being the most content in our relationship at the age of 40 and earning our dream salary two years later at 42, according to the study of Britons.
But when asked whether the average Brit would like to live forever, should science ever advance to such an extent, only one in four (23%) said they would.
The research, which was carried out among almost 2,000 adults of both sexes, found that after years of burning the candle at both ends, the penny finally drops at the age of 30 when we start to take care of ourselves and are officially feeling our healthiest.
Wealth however, takes more time to achieve, with the typical Brit expecting to have to wait until they reach 47 before they reach the pinnacle of the earning power.
And true happiness is set to arrive at the age of 39 when we are likely to own our own home, be settled with our soul mate, and be enjoying our chosen career.
The study also discovered we are most likely to enjoy ‘playing the field’ at the age of 24 with the average woman saying she make the most of being young, free and single at the age of 23, while for men that crept up to 25.
And according to the data, finding a soul mate occurs just months before we are able to enjoy the best sex of our lives as we approach our 33rd birthday.
Psychologist Donna Dawson commented “Interestingly, the research reveals that most of the high points in our lives occur in our thirties. This is because we have laid a foundation beforehand: in our twenties, 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 the age of thirty, we are physically in our prime, still advancing our careers and more sure of what we want. This, in turn, brings self-confidence and general contentment. However it is not surprising that ‘immortality’ is not something universally desired: if we can’t stay at the ideal age of ’38’, then we still have to deal with the ageing process and the health and financial issues that come with it.”
“There is also the inherent contradiction in human nature itself: the experience of the ‘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 study also found overall that a reassuring 84% of the population are current either very happy or mostly happy, with only 16% of those polled – or around one in six – are unhappy.
When asked about the possibility of there being an afterlife, 67% said they believed there was, while 33% didn’t.
The research was carried out to mark Monday’s Blu-ray and DVD release of The Last Witch Hunter, starring Vin Diesel, whose character Kaulder is cursed with immortality.
A spokesperson for The Last Witch Hunter said “Life has many highs and lows with milestones dotted along the way and it’s interesting to see that the study has shown that most people are happiest when they reach the age of 39.”
“However if they were given the chance to live forever, like Vin Diesels’ character Kaulder in The Last Witch Hunter, very few people would take up the offer, realising that it would be a curse rather than gift.”
Life’s Rich Tapestry
Play the field – 24
Healthiest – 30
Confident in body – 31
Best sex – 32
Find true love – 32
Happiest in career – 38
Happiest – 39
Content in relationship – 40
Dream salary – 42
Wealthiest – 47