If you're looking to avoid taxes, just withdraw the minimum. Do not pull everything out all at once. I've had a colleague encounter a similar dilemma a while back, and I suggest you read up more on RRSP and RIFF starting with this article. You can also read up on government articles regarding this subject to make sure that you don't have hiccups in the process. Heed what the others have posted here, and select what's applicable for you, I've been reading the replies on this thread and they are on point.