You can take money out of your RRSP before you retire for any reason, but you will be subject to a withholding tax on the money you withdraw, and possibly additional tax on that money at tax time. You’ll also permanently lose the contribution room you originally used to make the contribution.
There are ways you can borrow money from your RRSP tax free – up to certain limits and conditions. The government’s Home Buyer’s Plan allows you to borrow up to $25,000 for your first home, as long as you pay it back over the next 15 years. The government’s Lifelong Learning Plan allows you to borrow up to $20,000 for your education or your spouse’s education, as long as you pay it back over the next 10 years.
Learn more about withdrawing money from your RRSP before you retire.