Bruce Soper is the salt of the earth, a good Aussie bloke. He’s honest, hardworking and direct but doesn’t take life too seriously. He’s a proud father and grandpa with a passion for old Holdens. You’ll find a lovingly restored FJ in the garage. And at 75 years young, Bruce continues to enjoy his golf croquet.
For 48 years, he was in a wonderful partnership with his wife, Judy, who sadly passed away in December 2021. Bruce is still coming to terms with her loss. Here, he shares his thoughts on their lives as a couple and the importance of having great people in their corner along the way.
Bruce and Judy first met Maitland-based financial planner Roy McLeod the better part of 30 years ago. It followed an experience with another adviser who didn’t quite cut the mustard. Bruce explains. “Judy wasn’t a big fan of the first fella we spoke to, and I figured there was no point sticking with someone we weren’t keen on.
Fortunately, we met Roy next.
We both liked him, and we’ve been with him all this time. Of course, I still like him. As I see it, you couldn’t get any better than Roy.”
Bruce describes Roy as pleasant and calm.
He says Roy is always prepared to listen and nothing is off the table. And while Roy may sometimes advise a better pathway, Bruce always feels heard.
Bruce also greatly appreciates those who support Roy in his work and makes particular mention of Karen Webster and Robyn Thomson.
And when I ask Bruce if he’s pleased to be in the hands of Roy and the team, the response is a resounding ‘Heck, yeah!’
Over the years, Roy has guided the Soper’s through different periods of their lives such as when they were both working and earning well (Bruce as a plumber, Judy as a teacher) through to Bruce’s retirement and most recently, in relation to Judy’s finances and the couple’s joint accounts. Such integral support following Judy’s death greatly eased Bruce’s distress.
“In those early days, we had good financial backing. I went straight from getting my apprenticeship to working for myself. Judy was still teaching then, and we were tracking pretty well. Roy set up an investment account and things like that.” Thanks to Roy, Bruce’s retirement was another smooth transition. Bruce elaborates.
“We put all our trust in Roy. He took care of all that was required with our financial affairs and the relevant paperwork such as lodging it with Centrelink and the like. I didn’t have to do anything. And when Judy died unexpectedly, he looked after everything then too. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Bruce speaks with such warmth about Judy. He describes how fit and active she was throughout her life. A talented tennis player, she even played Aussie great, Evonne Goolagong Cawley back in the day. She also coached tennis and particularly enjoyed games like ‘Family Feud’ where different family members would play together. “She used to find it amusing seeing the young ones try to boss around the oldies on the court,” Bruce says with a smile.
Bruce keenly feels his wife’s loss and is slowly navigating life on his own. He’s having to adapt and learn things like computer skills which always came so easily to Judy. One of his daughters lives in the region and is helping him improve on the tech front. His other daughter and two grandchildren reside in Tamworth and in time, he’ll travel to see them (most likely in his FJ Holden), as he and Judy so often did together. Bruce also recently connected with a ‘lovely group of people’ through his local Probus Club and is well supported by those in his local community.
One of whom is Roy McLeod who will be there to ensure that Bruce is financially secure just as he has done for the past 30 years or so.
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