Planning for a Confident Retirement
Marshall, Murray & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice, helps clients plan for a future of their own design
by Liz Hunter

Most Americans have thought about retirement—how, where and with whom they want to spend their time. For too many, however, the approach of retirement comes with its fair share of stress and uncertainty, not sure if or for how long they will be able to live comfortably.

According to a 2012 Ameriprise Financial report, only 14 percent of those surveyed are very confident that they have enough money to live contentedly throughout their retirement1, and nearly half of the survey respondents fear they will outlive their savings2. Marshall, Murray & Associates, a Langhorne-based financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., can help alleviate those fears. The group’s unique client-specific approach involves discussing one’s dreams and goals and then developing strategies designed to pursue those goals.

Financial advisors Ryan Murray, CFS®, CRPC®, CAS®, CLTC, and William P. Marshall, ChFC®, CLU®, CRPC®, CFP®, have been operating their practices for nearly 20 years. Specializing in strategies for asset management, retirement and income distribution planning, and estate planning, Marshall, Murray & Associates places a huge emphasis on making sure its clients plan for a successful retirement. The team believes in taking a proactive and collaborative approach with clients, establishing relationships that last through life’s ups and downs.

Bill suggests that retirement planning requires an emotional commitment as much as it does a financial one. “Insecurity is a common feeling because people are living longer and there is a lot of uncertainty over making your savings last,” he says. “It’s important to find a financial advisor who can understand this and has a specialized approach to help you deal with these feelings.”

“Typically, our clients are not living and breathing financial terms every day and might feel overwhelmed,” adds Ryan. “When we meet, we try to make them feel at ease and get a sense of what they want to accomplish from a financial point of view. We want to get to know who they are and what’s important to them.”

Ameriprise Financial has introduced an innovative way for discussing retirement with clients, which Marshall, Murray & Associates has adopted. The company’s exclusive Confident Retirement® approach mirrors Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a pyramid that shows humans’ most basic needs, ranging from food and sleep to creativity and respect.  The Ameriprise model is based on the four principles of retirement, and asks clients how they plan to cover essentials, ensure their lifestyle, prepare for the unexpected and leave a legacy.

Ryan explains that they start with the “essentials.” These are the necessities—food, a roof over one’s head, medical expenses, keeping the light on and the water running. “These are defined expenses regardless of income,” he says. “Most people have Social Security or a pension, but typically that is not enough to cover your essentials.”

The next level is ensuring your lifestyle. Lifestyle expenses are all of the dreams that are important to you, like traveling, dining out and hobbies. Just one in four U.S. consumers says they believe they will achieve their dreams in retirement2. For these optional expenses, retirees tend to tap into other assets in their portfolios.

The third element of the Ameriprise model is preparing for the unexpected—things that could get in the way of retirement, such as an accident or medical emergency. This might also include financial support for children and/or aging parents.

“At least one study shows that baby boomers are giving financial assistance to their adult children as well as their parents3,” says Bill. “What they don’t realize is the financial impact this could have on them if something devastating happens. At this stage, financial flexibility is important, and boomers should consider their own long-term-care plans.” Another report notes that, 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will require some long-term care4.

Finally, Marshall, Murray & Associates helps clients leave a legacy, which includes financial gifts to family members, charities or causes close to their heart. “Clients who accumulated assets require estate planning strategies that address control and leverage,” says Bill. “They need to make sure there is a power of attorney, living will or something in writing that passes those assets on. Income and estate taxes will also reduce the amount that is passed on and we can discuss the options to help clients ensure the proper beneficiary designations are in place.” The Confident Retirement approach is an example of how Marshall, Murray & Associates apply a deep understanding of their clients to the solutions, strategies and tools developed to meet their retirement needs.

When Marshall, Murray & Associates handles a client’s retirement planning, it’s not just about the money. “Strong relationships are so important,” Ryan says. “We want to communicate with our clients as often as possible to discuss lifestyle changes or new goals. We want to have a good sense of understanding where you are in life and see if anything needs to adapt in our strategies.”

Bill adds, “Our client relationships are developed to be ongoing, and we provide support to help them feel more peace of mind as life changes.”    

This highly successful approach has not gone unnoticed. Both Ryan and Bill have earned client-satisfaction scores in the 90s, and have received the Five Star Wealth Manager award from Philadelphia magazine for 2012  and 2013. The Five Star Wealth Manager recognition acknowledges high levels of customer service, integrity, knowledge and other key areas of satisfaction based on clients’ personal experience.

Although the awards speak volumes, Ryan and Bill take the most pride in the referrals they receive, which are responsible for nearly 80 percent of the practice’s new business.

“To know that we provided our clients with enough value that they felt compelled to share it with someone else,” he says. “That’s the biggest compliment we can receive.”
Marshall, Murray & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
2300 East Lincoln Highway, Suite 705
Langhorne, PA 19047
For more information or to schedule an appointment, 215-757-7600 ext. 401. Or visit and

Confident Retirement will include a review of your existing financial retirement situation and potential opportunities, gaps, or general strategies. You will not receive a comprehensive review or financial planning services for which fees are charged. It is not a guarantee of future financial results. Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax issues.

The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (please note unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process*); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5. Accepting new clients; 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or awarded. Once awarded, wealth managers may opt to purchase additional profile ad space or related award promotional products. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided. The award is not indicative of the award winner’s future performance. *To qualify as having a favorable regulatory and complaint history for this award, the person cannot have (1) been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine, (2) had more than a total of three customer complaints filed against them (settled or pending) with any regulatory authority or Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process, (3) individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint filed with a regulatory authority, (4) filed for bankruptcy, or (5) been convicted of a felony.

Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax issues.
1 – 2014 ERBI Confidence Index
2 – New Retirement Mindscape, 2012 City Pulse index, Ameriprise Financial
3 – Money Across Generations IIsm study, Ameriprise Financial, 2012
4 – 2014 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,