How low is your income? It may be more beneficial to first open with a Traditional IRA, since contributions lower your 2012 AGI, which could qualify you for a large "Savers Credit", up to a 50% match on up to $2,000 contributed if your AGI is below $17,250, which you may not otherwise get with a Roth. Between $17,251-$18,750 gets you a 20% credit ($400). Between $18,751 and lower than $28,750 AGI gets you in range for a 10% credit ($200). Convert it to Roth then this year in 2013 or a future year. Unless your AGI is well below $28,750 threshold for instance .... let's say for instance it is $25,000 AGI, then contributing $5,000 to a Roth won't make any difference (Traditional IRA would lower AGI to $20,000, but still within range for a $200 credit either way, for example.). If your AGI is $32,000, then it makes sense to first contribute it to a Trad IRA to get your AGI below $28,750, in range for a $200 credit, and then convert it. I don't think even an initial $5,000 contribution to a Roth IRA would generate enough tax-free gains equivalent to being greater than the $200 in one year. If you are in the 15% tax bracket, your Roth IRA would have to earn over $1,334.00 in the first year to outdo the $200 credit, a 27% gain!....Just something to think about.