Responsabilidad: Senior Care for Your Parents

As nuestros padres grow older, we face the realities of having to care for them. According to AARP, family caregivers shell out about $5,500 every year to meet an relative’s  senior care needs. Adding to the financial burden of caring for elderly parents are the emotional and physical stresses that can zap joy from the family unit. Las Fabulosas gets expert advice on how to keep the family fuerte by preparing and organizing for the senior care of our relatives.

Financial Well-Being

Deborah M. Higgins, President Higgins Capital Management, Inc., has seen an increase in clients asking for help with planning for the costs of senior care. Taking care of a parent “can be daunting and leave you feeling overwhelmed,” says Higgins, who has spent the past three decades working as a financial advisor. “You have to look at the big picture,” which can be done with a checklist that identifies and lists the tasks associated.

  1. Balance your parents’ housing needs and wishes by speaking to them at length. Can they live independently? Or does the parent need assisted living, day care or nursing home care?
  2. “Has a list of important financial documents and records been prepared,” asks Higgins on sample checklists she drafts for clients. This list includes all bank and investment account records, credit card statements, mortgage, insurance, utility bills, retirement plan statements and income tax returns for the last three years.
  3. Plan when you will start gathering your parent’s “relevant personal information,” such as passwords or their Social Security number, and start coordinating “long-term care with government benefits.”

Emotional Well-Being

When it comes to caretakers, there are two kinds, according to financial planner Francine Russo: primary and secondary. “If you are your parent’s primary helper,” says Russo, “ask yourself what you really want.” It helps to take an honest turn with yourself about whether it is more help, appreciation or control that you desire. “Lots of caregivers feel lonely and unappreciated.”

  1. Be specific. “If you’re feeling lonely, let other family members know that you would consider it a big help if they would just call more regularly,” says Russo, author of They’re Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy. “If you think you ‘shouldn’t have to ask,’ think again, and request the help that you can get realistically.”
  2. If you have siblings: Band together. Whenever possible, “change places for a few days or a week,” with your sibling, suggests Russo. Otherwise, pool enough cash “to hire paid help, arrange meal deliveries, or a car service to take your parent to appointments.”
  3. Avoid “Should-ing” others. Making a sibling feel guilty will only drive “them to defend themselves, often in angry ways,” says Russo. Instead, remember that “your siblings may not have had the same relationship with your parents that you did. There’s no reason they ‘should’ feel the same way you do.”

Our padres taught us that family always comes first. Here are more family values we’ve learned from nuestros padres.

Entrevistas: Tips for Successful Job Interviews

Despite upbeat reports about the country’s economic improvement, employers have remained cautious when it comes to hiring and job interviews. That’s why making a lasting impression during a brief in-person interview is especially important. But hitting the right notes requires properly preparing for a job interview. Las Fabulosas speaks to three experts who share simple and surprising techniques to help you ace your next interview.

Use Social Media: According to Shay Olivarria, author of 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money, understanding what your prospective employer does will give you an idea if the job and environment are a good fit. “Use Google, LinkedIn and Facebook to look up the company and the person” that will be interviewing you if possible,” says Olivarria. “Find out any professional history about the person,” and the company’s clients.

Ask Critical Questions: Before you show up to job interviews, come prepared with at least two thoughtful, researched questions to ask. “The interviewer wants to know that you will able to contribute something to the company,” says Olivarria, founder of “Asking thoughtful questions shows that you understand how your job will contribute to the overall well-being of the company.

Know Your Personal Brand: “Articulate your capabilities and skill-sets succinctly and how your personality traits will add-value to the workplace,” says Annette Prieto-Llopis, director of the Center for Hispanic Leadership. Prieto-Llopis also suggests being specific with your techniques and approach to your work.

Draft Talking Points: Olivarria emphasizes going to job interviews with a game plan. Write down at least three things, such as previous experience, that you want to get across before an interview is over, she says. This is an opportunity to “showcase your ability to see the big picture and that your interest in contributing to the organization is well beyond the job you are interviewing for,” says Prieto-Llopis.  

Dress to Impress: “Know what you are wearing the night before,” says Andres Gutierrez, a financial expert and speaker whose website,, offers tips and products to improve financial literacy. “Plan on what time you are leaving the office so no matter what, you’ll be there on time.”

Get Excited: Get pumped by reviewing the positive aspects of the job opportunity and “stand tall” during the entrevista. Gutierrez adds, “If you are not excited about working there, they won’t be excited about hiring you. Shake hands firmly, look people in the eye and have a good posture during the interview.”

Tips on Starting a Small Business

You know the pros of starting a small business: being your own boss and seeing a small idea grow into a successful company. The cons? You don’t even know how to get started!

According to a recent Kauffman Firm Survey, Latina-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of all women-owned businesses. Maribel Lieberman, founder of MarieBelle Fine Chocolates in New York City, has turned her amor for food into a profitable business. Here, she shares her tips for entrepreneurs.

Be Passionate
Lieberman says she became an entrepreneur at 8 years old, selling caramelos in school. She really became drawn to food and cooking while working at a catering company, which eventually led her to create her empresa de chocolate.

“I did research on chocolate, traveling to Belgium and France, until I discovered chocolate really came from Latin America,” says Lieberman. “When I learned about the culture of the cacao, I was fascinated and knew I needed to do this.” Lieberman’s love for comida combined with chocolate’s cultural history only increased her desire to open a chocolate business.

Set Goals
Instead of setting large, long-term goals, Lieberman recommends a more practical approach. “I make short goals for myself, and I achieve them,” she says. “Then, I set new goals.”

Also, stay realistic with your goals: You can’t expect to make money right away. “Be patient,” says Lieberman. “A business is like having a bebé: You need to feed and nurture it. It doesn’t become successful overnight. But once you earn it, you won’t lose it as easily, because you know how much work it took to get here.”

Know Cuánto Cuesta
It’s crucial to account for all of the costs involved with starting your own business. “Costs aren’t just the items you buy; there are unseen costs too,” says Lieberman. “There are taxes, insurance and overhead: rent, electricity and more.”

If you’re more of a creative type, work with someone from the start to help you manage these costs, suggests Lieberman. This will help make your company more profitable quickly.

Finally, be ready to work hard. “The main thing is to be brave and just do it,” says Lieberman. “There will always be roadblocks, but if this is what’s in your heart, go for it.”

New Uses for Old Things: How to Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls

As a busy, penny-wise mama, I’m on an ever-present mission to find new uses for things that may otherwise end up as trash. So when I was recently faced with a growing pile of paperless rolls left over from paper towels and toilet tissue, I polled my budget-conscious parent friends for tips on new ways to use these things.

Try these ideas if you’re looking to reuse leftover toilet paper rolls:

Get Organized

Toilet paper rolls are a wonderful way to keep electrical cords tangle-free. Fold the cord and slide it into the roll before plugging it in. Get bonus decor points by covering the roll with colorful tape.

And what about those tangled Christmas tree lights? Keep them in holiday-ready shape by wrapping them around a tube before storing for the year. Cardboard tubes can also be used to protect important documents or kids’ artwork: Roll the papers, slide into the tube (or tubes, if the artwork is long) and stash in a drawer or box.

Get Cozy 

Fill a cardboard tube with dried leaves and wrap in newspaper for an easy and accessible fire-starter. Stock a basket with these homemade starters during chilly months, and even the most hesitant of fire-makers will be ready to start a bonfire for some backyard summer fun.

Get Crafty

Cardboard tubes of all sizes are the ideal foundation for kid-friendly crafts. Paint the tube with stripes or dots and glue on feathers, or fur plus ears and a tail, and you’ve got a quick and cute handmade animal.

For the mini musician in your house, tape one end of a toilet paper tube with masking tape, fill with dried beans or rice, tape the other end closed, and you have a homemade maraca. Increase the fun factor by decorating it with bold paint and glittery glue.

Get Creative

Kids love pretend play: Try gluing two toilet paper rolls together horizontally and decorate with paint and stickers for a pair of homemade binoculars. Pretend you’re on safari in search of wild animals or a spy on a dangerous mission.

You can also turn empty tubes into fire-free candlesticks: Simply turn the rolls upright and outfit them with orange and yellow paper flames. Decorate them in festive colors (like orange and black for Halloween), or encourage your children to go exploring by ‘candlelight.’

Work for Yourself: How to Start Your Own Business

In 1984, Guy Kawasaki, world-renowned venture capitalist and special advisor at Google, got a life-changing opportunity: His former roommate at Stanford University, Mike Boich, offered him a marketing job at Apple. Kawasaki’s work at Steve Jobs's empire brought him fortune, fame and, perhaps most importantly, the confidence to strike out on his own. 

Since that roaring start, Kawasaki has founded or co-established four successful companies, including Alltop, a news aggregation site, and, which raises funds for promising technology businesses. He’s also the author of Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, a blueprint for business success.

Here, the charismatic Stanford grad (who boasts 1.3 million Twitter followers!) shares four steps every budding entrepreneur must take to actualize her business plan:

Step 1: Just Do It
“The most important step is to create a real manifestation of your idea,” says Kawasaki. “For example, before you start a restaurant, try your menu on friends or at catering parties. [If you’re launching a physical product,] create and ship a prototype. Until you do this, everything else is just a made-up fairytale."

Step 2: Secure Seed Money

Every business needs some funds to get started. Write a business plan to figure out how much money you’ll need and when you can hope to see a profit. “For the vast majority of ideas, crowd funding on or is the way to go,” says Kawasaki.

Step 3: Get the Word Out
Now that your business is off the ground, how will you get the word out? “The most powerful and accessible way to market your business is to use social media such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook,” says Kawasaki. “Entrepreneurs must build their social media platform as soon as they decide to start a company."

Step 4: Have Faith
“Nobody ever said that entrepreneurship is easy,” says Kawasaki. Your business will face hurdles and challenges, and you need to stay strong and keep at it. “Truly, some things need to be believed to be seen. You must believe in what you're doing."