Award Travel Series: Shopping Portals

Advertiser Disclosure: This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CardRatings.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Recently we discussed how utilizing “cash back” credit cards is an useful tool in any travel hacker’s tool belt. Today, we’ll go over another way to maximize the return on your online purchases with just a couple of extra clicks.

Enter the world of shopping portals!
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8 Years of Early Retirement Tax Optimization

2020 was our 8th full year of this thing we do. It’s been an incredible ride – we’ve traveled, adventured, and procreated, with the best yet to come.

We’ve also done a fair amount of tax optimization, paying little tax each year while taking steps to minimize future taxes.

Do these optimization efforts actually work? Let’s find out.

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Go Curry Cracker 2020 Taxes

2020 was an interesting year in many ways including all things taxes… I mean, we paid $0 in income tax (again) on ~$143k income.

This was in part because dividends and blog revenue were lower due to COVID-19, which is a bummer. But it is also because we welcomed another child tax credit into the family, which is nice. Plus, he’s kinda cute.

But that’s not all… for all of you tax aficionados, this year’s tax return offers some good examples of both short and long term tax minimization, including use of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, the Child Tax Credit (with phase out), capital gain harvesting, Roth conversions, the Foreign Tax Credit (on International equities), and more.

Let’s explore, shall we?

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Go Curry Cracker Asset Allocation 2021

We have been living off our portfolio for over 8 years now, since late 2012.

For the 1st 6 years I made only minor adjustments – annual rebalancing, minimizing long-term taxes with capital gain harvests and Roth conversions, and adding the occasional small chunk of fresh capital as blog income allowed.

But after ~7 years of the stock market trending upward and the conscious decision to spend more, in early 2019 we took some money off the table (sold stocks / bought bonds.) When literally everything went to hell due to COVID-19, we sold most of those bonds to buy stock and increase our cash cushion.

Now, this is what our portfolio looks like in 2021.

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Award Travel Series: Getting to Hawaii for Free with Ultimate Rewards

Advertiser Disclosure: This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CardRatings.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

We’ve beat the drum of transferable currencies and how powerful credit card welcome bonuses can be. Maybe you were even enticed by the recent highest-ever Welcome Bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (80,000 points after $4,000 spend in 3 months, a $1,000+ value. $95 annual fee.) Now it’s time to put that hard work to use by making a redemption using those points, and what better destination than Hawaii?
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