What Is a Decamillionaire?

Decamillionaires Explained in Less Than 4 Minutes

A wealthy businessman prepares to board a private plane.
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Someone with a net worth of $10 million to $99.99 million is considered a decamillionaire. Because the word “millionaire” is such a broad term, people often use “decamillionaire” instead to describe exactly how much wealth someone has. 

Here’s a closer look at what it means to be a decamillionaire and how it works. 

Definition and Examples of a Decamillionaire

A decamillionaire is someone with $10 million to $99.99 million in net worth. The word is a combination of “deca” or “deka,” meaning “10” in Greek, and “millionaire,” meaning anyone with at least $1 million in net worth. Therefore, a decamillionaire is anyone with a net worth of at least $10 million.

The term doesn’t just apply to those with $10 million in U.S. dollars, either. It refers to anyone who has a net worth of at least 10 million in any currency. So, if you have 10 million in British pounds or 10 million in euros, you’re also a decamillionaire.

How a Being a Decamillionaire Works

Oftentimes, using the word “millionaire” alone doesn’t paint an accurate picture of someone’s wealth. Do they have $1 million? $10 million? $100 million? There’s a sizable difference between those amounts. Therefore, people use terms like “decamillionaire” to further classify how much wealth someone has. 

But decamillionaire isn’t the only subclassification used to describe the size of someone’s wealth. This chart breaks down other common categories people use: 

Classification Net Worth
Millionaire At least $1 million
Pentamillionaire At least $5 million
Decamillionaire At least $10 million
Hectomillionaire At least $100 million
Billionaire At least $1 billion

The prefix of these classifications is taken from the International System of Units (SI). For example, the word “hecto” means 100 and “deca” means 10.

In addition to these phrases, many financial advisors and wealth managers classify wealthy individuals in three categories: high net worth, very high net worth, and ultra-high net worth.

This chart highlights which classification you’d fall into based on your net worth: 

Classification Net Worth
High Net Worth $1 million to $4.99 million
Very High Net Worth $5 million to $29.99 million
Ultra-High Net Worth $30 million or more

How Do People Become Decamillionaires?

Decamillionaires may have inherited their wealth or created it through start-ups, real estate investing, lucrative career fields, and other avenues. There’s no one way to do it; each person has their own path. 

If you want to become a decamillionaire—or at least get to the point where you consider yourself rich—you’ll need to save, invest, and look for career opportunities that provide better salaires.

Also, if you accumulate more wealth early on in life, you won’t have to save nearly as much overall thanks to the magic of compound interest. So, if you’re starting at a young age or are fortunate to receive some type of inheritance that you can invest, your chances of successfully becoming a decamillionaire may already be higher.  

But, if you aren’t the recipient of an inheritance or generational wealth, what can you do? The road to becoming a decamillionaire is tougher.  In this case, you would need to save at least $3,850 a month for the next 45 years to become a decamillionaire by age 70. If you’re starting at age 35, you’ll need to save $7,300 a month. As you can guess, this high savings rate is not sustainable for the average family. According to a survey by The Balance, half of Americans have $250 or less of disposable income at the end of the month.

That’s why taking career risks, starting a successful company, and investing are strategies you’ll need to employ to build your wealth. Even then, it may not be possible to become a decamillionaire, and that’s okay. 

In fact, the decamillionaire standard is considerably higher than the $1.9 million in net worth that the average American considers “being wealthy,” according to a recent study by Charles Schwab. While even $1.9 million may seem out of reach, saving $508 a month in a retirement account starting at age 25 can make you a millionaire by age 65, assuming a 6% average annual return.

Key Takeaways

  • A decamillionaire is someone whose net worth is at least $10 million.
  • The term “decamillionaire” is often used to more accurately describe someone’s wealth since the term “millionaire” is so broad.
  • There’s no one path to becoming a decamillionaire, but saving aggressively from a young age and pursuing lucrative career opportunities could put you on the right track.