An advisor using planning software that considers the tax impacts could probably do a reasonable job of analyzing this. I think the objective of the analysis should be to maximize the real present value of all withdrawals for a given estate size, or conversely, maximize the estate size for a given withdrawal rate. It needs to take into account the annual tax on investment income in non-registered accounts, then the capital gains that are eventually due when securities are sold or deemed disposition of the estate. That has to be balanced against the fact that that there are never any taxes on investment income or capital gains in a RRSP, but if RRSP/RRIF withdrawals are large enough they may push the tax rate high enough that it overwhelms the additional tax in non-registered accounts. But a lot of individuals just compare the tax on RRSP withdrawals to the tax on realized capital gains in non-registered accounts, forgetting that RRSP balances are in pre-tax dollars, whereas non-registered balances are after income tax was paid on earnings. Another complication is that RRSPs can lower other income-tested entitlements like GIS, OAS and Ontario Trillium Benefit. Then there are those pesky assumptions about life expectancy, rate of return and future tax rates. Tough to capture all that in a spreadsheet or by gut feel.