Would Joining a local inventors group be a good idea?

You wont have to disclose your great innovation, but an inventors group will help far better than patent lawyers or money hungry invention companies that advertise for the helpless..

I think joining a group of like minded people is always a good idea! As you said, without having to pay high fees or disclose any proprietary details, you could bounce questions and ideas off other invention inclined minds.

However I do think that if you are developing a product that has a true innovation – and you'd like to take it to market – looking into the patent process would be a smart investment.