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Lisa Zamparo

I’m a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), business coach and personal finance expert in Toronto who can help you make intentional decisions with your money. My personalized approach to financial planning can help you achieve your goals by aligning your spending with your priorities.


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Aware and Awake

Self-made, single, and fabulous, that's me. I'm a professional with a good, steady income, and recently, I reached the six-figure milestone. Sometimes it's still hard to believe that I've come this far. Along the way, I've learned how to be a seasoned saver and a disciplined budgeter.

A few years ago, I decided to invest in real estate on my own and bought a condo in the Greater Toronto Area, just outside the downtown core. It was an easy decision because the timing, location, and spend level was right. I saw it as a great addition to my portfolio and turned it into a rental unit.

This year, I've decided to purchase a unit in the city for myself. But I have so many questions because I want to make sure I'm setting myself up for long-term success. I fear that I'll feel cash poor for longer than expected.

First, how should I structure my budget? Now that I own two residential properties, should I keep my budgets for each one separate or consider them as one item? Second, are there any tax benefits I can take advantage of?



Soon-to-be Savvy Investor

Self-made, single, and fabulous, that's me. I'm a professional with a good, steady income, and recently, I reached the six-figure milestone. Sometimes it's still hard to believe that I've come this far. Along the way, I've learned how to be a seasoned saver and a disciplined budgeter.

A few years ago, I decided to invest in real estate on my own and bought a condo in the Greater Toronto Area, just outside the downtown core. It was an easy decision because the timing, location, and spend level was right. I saw it as a great addition to my portfolio and turned it into a rental unit.

This year, I've decided to purchase a unit in the city for myself. But I have so many questions because I want to make sure I'm setting myself up for long-term success. I fear that I'll feel cash poor for longer than expected.

First, how should I structure my budget? Now that I own two residential properties, should I keep my budgets for each one separate or consider them as one item? Second, are there any tax benefits I can take advantage of?





Confused & Committed

People often give unsolicited advice. When it comes to the percentage of my income I should save, the range is immense. Different advisors, whether it's a professional, family member, or friend, have recommended different numbers.

To play it safe, I've stuck to the rule I often hear, which is to save 10% of your income. But now that I'm getting into my 30s, I'm questioning whether it's enough. Should the amount increase year by year? I’m starting to save more, but that's because I'm also making more. Technically, it's still 10% of my income.

My concern stems from also hearing that some people have been able to save 70% of their income with a better chance at retirement. While I don't believe that's possible for me, I'm concerned that 10% of my income is far from what I need to retire comfortably. Were they able to save such a high percentage because they invested heavily and aggressively? If this is likely the case, should I consider doing the same?