(Courtesy of Flickr)
(Courtesy of Flickr)
(Courtesy of Flickr)

(The Motley Fool) – Opening an IRA can be one of the smartest financial decisions of your life. These retirement accounts have tremendous benefits, so if you don’t have one year, maybe now is the time to finally open one.

We asked three of our contributors for the best reason to open an IRA right now, and here is what they had to say.

Selena Maranjian: One of the biggest reasons to open an IRA today is because it can cost you a lot if you don’t. When it comes to your retirement, procrastination can be expensive and might even leave you eating hamburgers instead of steak. Beyond its tax advantages, one of the great benefits of an IRA (and most other investment accounts) is that it lets your investments grow over many years. That enables the magical effect of compounding.

Let’s run through an example. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume you’re going to contribute $5,000 per year into an IRA, and that your money will grow at the stock market’s long-term average annual growth rate of about 10%.

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