Previous studies indicate that replicative lifespan in daughter cells of Sacchraromyces cerevisiae depends on the preferential inheritance of young, high-functioning mitochondria. We report here that mitochondria are functionally segregated even within single mother cells in S. cerevisiae. A high-functioning population of mitochondria accumulates at the tip of the mother cell distal to the bud. We find that the mitochondrial F-box protein (Mfb1p) localizes to mitochondria in the mother tip and is required for mitochondrial anchorage at that site, independent of the previously identified anchorage protein Num1p. Deletion of MFB1 results in loss of the mother-tip-localized mitochondrial population, defects in mitochondrial function and premature replicative ageing. Inhibiting mitochondrial inheritance to buds, by deletion of MMR1, in mfb1Δ cells restores mitochondrial distribution, promotes mitochondrial function and extends replicative lifespan. Our results identify a mechanism that retains a reservoir of high-functioning mitochondria in mother cells and thereby preserves maternal reproductive capacity.