Dear Dave: I'd like to move to Las Vegas when I retire in about 10 years. I've saved up quite a bit of money and could pay cash for a property now. Should I go ahead and buy, and maybe rent it out for a while, or wait until I actually retire?
If you can pay cash now and still have plenty of savings left over, then there's no reason not to go ahead and buy. The housing bubble has burst out there, and you'll be able to find some real bargains in and around Vegas.
I'm not big on being a long-distance landlord, but I'd be tempted to do it in a situation like this. Keep in mind that you'll probably have to renovate the place if you rent it out for several years. It's just the nature of things in the rental world, so make sure you figure that into your cash plan-and your emotional plan, too.