The simple answer you’re probably looking for? You’re not required to begin withdrawing from your RRSP until the year you turn 72, although you are required to cease contributions to your RRSP and convert the account into cash, a Registered Retirement Income Fund or an annuity by December 31 of the year you turn 71.
The more nuanced answer: you can always withdraw money from your RRSP before retirement, but be prepared to be assessed substantial taxes on early withdrawals. There are two cases that the CRA has deemed cool to withdraw RRSP funds without penalty: if you are a first time homebuyer, if you plan to buy a home for a disabled relative, or if you want to use the funds to go back to school.
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