It depends on your financial situation. Many financial planners will tell you to build an emergency fund, equal to three to six months pay, before saving for retirement. Others favor a combined approach. Either way, you shouldn’t go into debt for the sake of saving in a Roth. The interest will almost always be more than you can expect to earn on the IRA. And all of us are subject to annual contribution limits, currently $5,000 in 2012 ($6,000 for those 50 and older).