A poll of 2000 people showed that British men believed that they would die at 72, and women thought that they would live up to 75.
Just three per cent of Brits actually looked forward to getting old, while 43 per cent admitted that they dreaded it, reports British tabloid The Sun.
Nearly 79 per cent feared that they would loose their intellectual faculties, and doubted remaining mentally agile.
Another 63 per cent were concerned about loss of mobility, and 44 per cent feared being put in a home.
For more than a third of people, exercise was the key to live longer.
On the other hand, 21 per cent said that giving up bad habits like smoking and drinking was the key to longevity, while another 21 per cent believed that the secret lied in healthy eating.
When asked about their priorities in later years, health was more important than happiness.
The survey showed that just one in five over 55 wanted to be happy with the majority, 31 per cent, preferring to be mentally active or in good health.