The income gap in America continues to widen between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” and according to Bankrate.com, the gap is growing at its quickest pace among folks in their prime earning years.

Analyzing census data from 1999 to 2012, the group found a ten-percent overall jump in the income gap among all age groups. Single out the 35- to 44-year-olds, however, and the increase more than doubles (21 percent).

“These are key transition years,” said Chris Kahn, research and statistics analyst for Bankrate.com. “They really have their best ability to grow their nest egg, to prepare for retirement.”

Those on the fortunate end of the gap are having no problem putting money away and preparing for the future. Significant saving is not an option for those at the low end, faced with persistently high unemployment and stagnant wages.

Kahn said people can help themselves with some common sense measures, such as living within their means, setting a budget, and avoiding credit card debt.