PURPOSE: This study is aimed to search the lived experiences of the participants and to analyze the contents so that we can be assured about what the elderly wish and find the appropriate nursing intervention for them in real life. METHOD: This is based on a phenomenological approach. Participants of this study consist of people older than 65 years old. Data was collected from May to August in 2001. Data collection was done through in-depth interviews and observations. The time used in each interview was from 50 minutes to 2 hours. Each participant was interviewed three to five times. Giorgi's phenomenological analysis was used in data analysis. RESULT: The elder's wishes are 1) a respected life, 2) a happy life, 3) a peaceful life, 4) a independent life, 5) a financially independent life, 6) a satisfactory life, 7) a mind to depend on someone, 8) a serving life, 9) a historic family, 10) a happy-ending life. CONCLUSION: The study will contribute for the nursing intervention to enhance the quality of life and successful aging of the elderly.