Why you won't be a billionaire until you're 70

The ages of the world’s billionaires reads like a retirement home register.

Neil Churchill December 8, 2014

"I wanna be a billionaire, so frickin' bad..." The opening line sung by Bruno Mars to the 2010 hit 'Billionaire' may be annoyingly catchy, but its notion rings true of today's money-chasing generation.

Being a millionaire is no longer seen as enough. Not when there are 1,645 billionaires in the world - according to Forbes - owning a combined wealth of $6.4 trillion. Rappers no longer talk about owning millions; it's now all about the 'b' word. But apart from the obvious fact that becoming a billionaire is highly unlikely - you have a .00002 per cent chance - it also takes most of a lifetime to achieve.

So if you have high hopes for yourself that you will one day invent the new silicon valley behemoth, just know that you probably won't hit the magical 10-figure number until you're 70, as that's the average age of the world's top 20 billionaires - with one small asterisk... that's the average age without Mark Zuckerberg included.

Yes the Facebook founder is so young - well, he's 30 - compared to his peers on the billionaires list, that he drops the average age down to just over 68. Without the grey t-shirt wearing geek, the world's top 19 billionaires have an average age of 70. 

As for the rest of them, the world's richest man, Bill Gates, is 59, Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim is 74 and Warren Buffett (main picture) is 84. The rest of the top 13 billionaires are aged 65 or above - with the exception of 59-year old Christy Walton at number eight.

At 14th on the list, Zuckerberg is the youngest in the top 100, and is only beaten on the entire Forbes list by 24-years old Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel (below), the inventors of Snapchat, placed joint at 1,187th, and 25-years old Matt & Dan Walsh, placed at 992nd. 

There are 34 billionaires aged 90-years of age or older, with the eldest being David Rockefeller Sr, placed at number 567 with a net worth of $3 billion. The eldest billionaire in the top 100 is 95-year old Anne Cox Chambers, worth $16.7 billion.

The average age of the top 30 richest people in the world rises a little from the top 20, to 69 years of age (including Zuckerberg). But from there after it drops. The average age of the world's top 50 and also the top 98 is 67 - the top 100 average age is not possible, as two entries are families and not individuals.

So there you have it. If you want to be a billionaire, you're probably going to have to wait until you're a septuagenarian. Someone should tell Bruno...