If you thought your life was over when you hit 30 or 40, then bad news - it may have happened much earlier.
Most people have enjoyed the best memories of their life by the age of 25, according to new research.
A survey of retired people found the life changing highlights etched on their brains happened before they reached age of 25.
It is the first study of its kind to use a ‘naturalistic approach’ by collecting free flowing stories in which participants were asked to narrate their own biographies in just 30 minutes.
A week later they divided these into self defined 'chapters' which revealed a dramatic ‘reminiscence bump’ between 17 and 24-years-old - when many people defined these parts beginning and ending.
Psychologist Kristina Steiner, of the University of New Hampshire in the US, said: 'When people look back over their lives and recount their most important memories, most divide their life stories into chapters defined by important moments that are universal for many: a physical move, attending college, a first job, marriage, military experience, and having children.'
In the study, all the participants were white, and three in four of them had earned at least an undergraduate degree.