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Fifty-one percent of American adults consider the coronavirus pandemic economy worse than the 2008 recession, according to findings of a new survey from Edelman Financial Engines.

Twenty-six percent of respondents reported that they had withdrawn money from their retirement or savings accounts during the pandemic. Of those, 39% gave money to help a family member or friend in need, and 51% had paid their own bills.

It will take nearly six years to replenish their savings, on average, those who withdrew money said.

Related: Nearly Half of Investors Sold Stock in March; Most Now Regret It: Survey

“Months into the pandemic, it’s clear that Americans are still struggling with the financial impact,” Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Engines, said in a statement. “It is likely that Americans will continue to struggle for some time.”

OnePoll conducted the online survey between Aug. 27 and Sept. 1 among 2,000 U.S. adults, ages 40 to 65, with an annual household income of more than $100,000.

The Nov. 3 elections are top of mind for those surveyed. Asked about the presidential candidates’ policy plans, 64% said the economy, 59% the pandemic and 51% health care were most important to them. Seventy-two percent said the candidates’ economic policies would sway their vote.

Related: COVID, Not the Economy, Will Decide the Election: Strategists

Other issues that have risen during the campaign ranked lower in their influence on voters’ preferences:

  • Foreign policy – 25%
  • Reaction to Black Lives Matter movement – 25%
  • Education – 24%
  • Environment – 20%

As to who will win the presidential vote, 97% of respondents believed their preferred candidate would win. This means that half will be disappointed, and a great many shocked, after a winner is confirmed, Edelman Financial Engines points out.

“It is likely that many people will be tempted to change their investment strategy as a result of the election,” Edelman said. “However, history shows that the financial markets tend to perform well regardless of what political party is in office.”

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