Three hundred and thirty-one older adults participated in a study designed to examine their perceptions of what constitutes a reasonable quality of life. Participants responded to an open-ended questionnaire in which they were asked to state their priorities, preferences, aspirations, and concerns about their present and future quality of life. Responses were subjected to a principal components factor analysis which yielded four factors: 1) respondents' demands for specific guarantees; 2) respondents' aspirations and expectations for future quality of life; 3) fears and anxieties; and 4) external factors presenting a threat to quality of life. These factors accounted for 15 percent, 12 percent, 9.2 percent, and 7.1 percent, respectively, of the total variance. Additionally, data obtained from in-depth interviews with thirty-seven older adults were analyzed using a qualitative approach. Contrary to stereotypic notions that elderly persons are frail, vulnerable, and resigned to deteriorating conditions of well-being in late life, the results of both the qualitative and quantitative components of the study showed the majority of respondents as having clear demands for autonomy, control, and independence in making decisions, including the decision to terminate life. Implications are discussed in terms of future research on quality of life of older adults.