The Bankrate.com study finds that the income gap among 35- to 44-year-olds grew by 21 percent from 1992 to 2012.

The income gap in America is growing fastest among 35- to 44-year-olds, according to a new report from Bankrate.com

“These years can either build a bridge to a successful retirement or leave people well short of their goals,” said Chris Kahn, research and statistics analyst with Bankrate.com. “We’re seeing a tale of two retirements.”

The Bankrate study found that within this age group, the divide grew the highest at 21 percent from 1992 to 2012.

“Some of the reasons why the income gap is growing so rapidly within this age group are persistently high unemployment as well as stagnant wages,” Kahn said. “This stagnation in income combined with rising prices is making it more challenging for people to stay in the middle class or move up.”

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