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There are plenty of reasons to buy your retirement house now--even if you don't plan to live in it for years

Jeremy Samuelson / Getty

Hammock hanging on a porch.

Buying a home while prices are sliding is not an easy decision. After all, you never know when things will bottom out, and if you jump too soon, you may miss an even better deal that could have been yours just by waiting. But if your goal is to retire to a vacation-like property in a decade or so and you can afford to buy now, today's tepid housing market may offer a great opportunity to put your plans into motion early. Here's why.

First of all, home prices won't weaken forever, and they almost certainly will be much higher in...

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