It obviously depends on your particular financial circumstances, but generally speaking, opening a Roth can be a good option, regardless of age. That may particularly true this year, because a Roth is most valuable when your think you taxes will be higher during retirement. It seems likely that taxes will go up in the coming years; with a Roth, you’d be paying the cheaper taxes this year and withdrawing them tax-free during retirement (when rates may be higher). Since you can make withdrawals beginning at 59 1/2, you’ve got a shorter window in which to make a guess at the direction of taxes. If you decide to make a contribution for 2012, you actually have until the April 15, 2013 tax deadline to make it.