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Beyond the Red Carpet: Top Hispanic Celebrities on Health Care and Financial Security

On Health:

"For health care, it always comes down to the money and the government. Playing a doctor makes me aware of how health care can be very deceptive. You think you're going in for one thing, but your diagnosis is something completely different. It's really a human right to know what's going on in your body."

On Financial Security:

"People need to start being honest with themselves and take responsibility for where their money goes and make a list of priorities. Perseverance is important. Never give up. The universe will bring you what you want. You have to build relationships with people who know about [financial] stuff. If you need to find a job, find one. If you need to save, then save."

Mario Lopez

The Dancing With the Stars sensation has a new sitcom on CW this year.

If you see Mario Lopez smile, it's probably because he's working. "I try to just enjoy life in general and be passionate about everything I do," he says. That includes wowing audiences on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, hosting Extra on weekends, and starring on the CW sitcom Eight Days a Week. In a workplace comedy with a multiethnic cast, the 34-year-old plays a young boss. The self-defined workaholic is also writing a book on physical fitness, drawing from personal philosophy. "You live longer, you live a healthier lifestyle, and you're going to be happier," he advises. "For every minute you work out, you add a minute to your life. I try to live by that."

On Health:

"I don't think our health care is as bad as some movies and documentaries portray it, but it definitely needs improvement. I think every American deserves great health care, and I think every American has had their issues with certain government-run programs, but I still think this country offers the greatest health care."

On Financial Security:

"My generation has to be a lot smarter with how they budget their lifestyles as far as saving. I'm first-generation [in the United States]. My family is from Mexico; they're hard-working people. This business is very fickle, so I try to be a saver and invest in things that are sound. I never try any get-rich-quick schemes. I'm no financial guru, but I think it's just common sense."

Benito Martinez

The ALMA Award winner for The Shield practically grew up on stage.

On the groundbreaking FX series The Shield, Benito Martinez plays the politically ambitious David Aceveda, a Los Angeles cop who successfully ran for city council. His intense performance on one of cable television's most-watched shows earned him a 2007 ALMA. On this year's seventh and final season, Aceveda runs for mayor. "It's art imitating life," says the 36-year-old, referring to the fact that Antonio Villaraigosa is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles. Both of Martinez's parents were artists—his father a musician and his mother a theater producer. "If my dad had a mariachi gig," he says, "I learned to play the vihuela and worked with him. If my mom needed a little boy in her play, I would have to learn the lines. To see your parents work that hard every day and laugh the entire time was a great gift."

On Health:

"As artists, we didn't have a steady income. I saw my dad get sick, and it would take him weeks to go to the doctor. My mom would say, 'We don't have insurance so don't get sick.' And we didn't. When you don't have a choice, you don't have a choice."

On Financial Security:

"In [my daughters'] school, they have a savings program. They say, 'If [the students] keep putting the money away now, they'll keep doing it the rest of their lives,' and I believe they're right. How I try to reinforce it for them in the house is by keeping it real. You want them to see the money that goes toward paying a credit card. Otherwise they don't have the understanding of its true value. That's what my parents taught me."

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