Benton Harbor ranked second in country for early retirees

NOW: Benton Harbor ranked second in country for early retirees

A new study ranks Benton Harbor as the number two city in the country, and the number one Midwest city,  to retire early in.

“For two years it’s been, like, the middle of the fire, as far as being how busy we are in real estate,” said Chris Siriano, owner of Siriano Real Estate. “People [are] coming from all over the planet to live here, buy here, feel life here. It’s been unbelievable.”

Siriano has sold real estate in southwest Michigan for 23 years.

He wasn’t surprised to learn MagnifyMoney recently ranked Benton Harbor number two of 217 U.S. cities as the best to retire early in (those looking to retire in their 40s or 50s).

“It’s almost always Lake Michigan,” said Siriano. “It’s almost always the feeling of life by the water.”

Life by the lake, Harbor Shores, Jean Klock Park, and economic powerhouse Whirlpool are some of Siriano’s biggest talking points when showing homes.

The study by MagnifyMoney ranked each city on its cost of living, quality of life, and employability.

Benton Harbor scored highest for cost of living.

Siriano said he sells move-in ready homes for as little as $20,000 or $30,000 in Benton Harbor.

And Cornerstone Alliance President Rob Cleveland said the affordability of Benton Harbor is a huge selling point.

“That’s the message that we convey to our stakeholders and to companies around the globe, is that this is about value, and you can get far more value with your dollar here than you can in most places in the country,” said Cleveland.

Good value and a good future.

Though parts of downtown Benton Harbor are still in recovery, Cleveland said improvement is evident.

He and Siriano pointed to the growing arts district in the heart of downtown.

They said it’s just another aspect of a city on the rise.

“I’ve looked at property around the country – around the world – to invest in myself, personally,” said Siriano. “There’s nothing that you can buy that would compare to southwest Michigan and specifically Benton Harbor.”

Another Michiana city was also included in the rankings.

Elkhart was named the eighth worst Midwest city to retire early in. 

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