For those opening long-term CDs, it's important to remember that the basic deposit insurance coverage of $250,000 is scheduled to be reduced to $100,000 after the end of December 31, 2013. However, this $250,000 coverage is permanent for IRAs (it was permanent before this change). Here are the official details from the FDIC website
Deposits at FDIC-insured institutions are now insured up to at least $250,000 per depositor through December 31, 2013. On January 1, 2014, the standard insurance amount will return to $100,000 per depositor for all account categories except for IRAs and other certain retirement accounts (including IRAs) which will remain at $250,000 per depositor. (This supersedes the October 3, 2008 changes.)
This same coverage and date applies to credit union deposits that are federally insured by NCUA.
It's possible that Congress and the President will extend the $250K coverage like they did on May 2009 which pushed the date from the end of 2009 to the end of 2013. Of course we'll have to wait and see. It's no guarantee. Thus, this may complicate your CD ladders. CDs with terms of 4 years and longer will extend into 2014 and you may lose some of your FDIC coverage if your principal and accrued interest are above $100K. One option is to try to extend the basic insurance coverage via beneficiaries. Refer to the FDIC website for details.