We pretty much did the same thing on the money and timing side (not the travel which sounds hectic!) but we put our savings into a private pension (5 x £16k) which has then been 'drawndown' each year to cover the 55-60 was the route we took as it has the bonus of going in without tax and then coming out without tax. (Well technically we lived off the savings whilst our earnings went into the pension). In effect that meant that, at our 20% tax rate, we put in £13k - the tax man put in the £3k they would have received in tax. When you draw it out of the pension you get 25% tax-free and the remaining £12k is our tax-free personal allowance.