Saving money preparing for retirement

HOUSTON - Cheryl and Jim Lillie have been married 24 years, have five children and 10 grandchildren. They also just retired.

In their spare time Cheryl and Jim like to play with their dogs, see their grandkids and spend time outside.

"I like to walk and then we have the two dogs, so that keeps us active," said Cheryl. "It's going great, said Jim about his retirement. I don't know how I had time to work."

But on the back of their minds, can they afford their retirement?

"Years back did we do enough to continue to live like we want to. We want to travel," Cheryl said.

"We have grown children, and grandchildren and we'd like to spend time with them," said Jim.

Recently with the market constantly changing people all across Houston are concerned about their money and their future.

"Most people whether they have $100,000 saved or a million dollars saved they have those same concerns. Well, when should people start planning for retirement? My answer is usually yesterday," Aaron Freeman president of Oak River Financial Group, said.

If you're concerned about your money, what specifically should you do?

"Find out where [you] are currently. It's important to get an analysis.There is no perfect investment, there is no investment that will do everything that you possibly need it to do," said Freeman.

Freeman suggests getting a well designed balanced financial plan.

"For the younger folks, one thing that they can do, if you can take as much income in retirement, tax-free then that's very powerful," said Freeman.

"Find out what you're paying in fees, reduce your fees, we're always hearing about these hidden fees. Let's say the stock market goes up 10 percent in a year but you're paying 3 percent in fees. Well you're not getting that 10 percent upside. Then on the otherside, even worse, when the stock market does fall by 10 percent you're still paying those fees," said Freeman.

"If you're going to do one thing this year, the one thing you can do is find out what you're paying in fees," said Freeman.

Another big issue is get involved in your finances.

"Maybe it's the husband or wife is usually the one who takes care of that, be a team," said Freeman.

So how are the Cheryl and Jim's planning going?

"You are never ever going to outlive your income, the way we designed the plan like this," said Freeman.

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