This is a great time to open or add to a traditional IRA because next year there will be no restrictions on who can convert their traditional IRA to a Roth IRA and just about everyone who can, should take advantage of this one-time opportunity. If you have less than $160,000 household income ($100,000 for singles) you can contribute straight to a Roth. If you make more than that you are not eligible except in the year 2010. (Don't ask; that's our wonderful tax code.) Traditional IRAs allow for pre-tax contributions and you get taxed as you make withdrawals in retirement; Roth IRAs allow for after-tax contributions with no taxes owed upon withdrawal. If you believe taxes are going higher in coming years, as most people do, the Roth is where you want to be. To convert from a traditional IRA to a Roth you must pay tax on all the money that you shift. So save this year's refund and convert it next year along with the rest of your traditional IRA, and plan to use next year's refund to pay some or all of the taxes owed when you convert.