I will not RE for just under a year, but my situation is fairly similar to yours. I believe that it is better for long term taxes to begin pulling from tax deferred investments right away. These accounts (IRA's, 401K's, etc.) have minimum required distributions so that the feds will get their deferred taxes. The sooner you begin the withdrawls (and you cannot legally defer forever), the smaller they will be, and the less tax you will owe on them each year. If you defer to the max, the minimum distributions will be larger, and the risk is that you will push yourself into a higher bracket and then pay more tax.
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir