For one, this isn’t the first time he’s announced he’s coming out of early retirement.
But mainly, almost all (or maybe all) of his early retirement advice caters to high income, high net worth individuals so not applicable for most people, but even for those people it isn’t useful or actionable. For example, this article on how to decide if you can afford to eat at the French Laundry or why you need to make $350,000/year to have a middle class lifestyle in a high cost of living city. Those just aren’t early retirement questions that most people have. You don’t need Financial Samurai to tell if you if can afford the French Laundry. Your checking account balance does the job just fine.
Financial Samarai identifies as the founder of the modern FIRE movement. There is no evidence this is true. THE central question of retirement planning is “how much money do I need?” That question was largely answered in 1994 when Bill Bengen introduced the 4% Rule.* Unfortunately, that knowledge mostly resided in dusty journals until @intercst updated Bengen’s work with Schiller’s longer dataset and published it in Excel on his website. This attracted the attention journalists like Scott Burns and Johnathan Clements of the Wall Street Journal who publicized it.
Just as importantly in my view, was intercst’s founding of the Retire Early Home Page here at TMF, which is literally where the term FIRE was invented. The old REHP was one of the most popular boards at TMF in its heyday, and a lot of early retirement topics got hashed out in detail.
In 2002-ish TMF went to a pay model for the boards, and many of the REHP posters decamped for other forums, notably a poster named dory36 who founded the Retire Early forums as well as creating firecalc a web-interface retirement calculator based on intercst’s spreadsheet with some help from other former TMF posters, including nords. This made it much easier for a typical person to answer the central question.
Also in 2002, a TMF poster named Hocus had a psychotic break resulting in him believing he was Ahab and the 4% Rule was his white whale. His attempts to destroy the whale lead to him getting booted from TMF and a few other boards, but not the Morningstar forums where many former TMF posters had also landed. He irritated everyone there enough that the top posters left and founded Bogleheads where they could discuss financial topics in a Hocus-free environment, another milestone in the FIRE movement.
I supposed you could argue that was a generation ago, and since then new leaders emerged, introducing FIRE to younger people. I’d agree with that, but Financial Samurai wasn’t one of them. About the same time he started, bloggers like Mr. Money Mustache and Go Curry Cracker also emerged. The difference is they had actionable, useful information on their blogs–like ways to minimize taxes and explaining the 4% Rule-- AND they had actually used that blueprint to retire early unlike Financial Samurai who was still working his $250,000/year financial job when he started his blog. Interesting, another FIRE calculator cFIREsim emerged from Mr. Money Mustache forums, also with some help from nords.
TL;DR Financial Samurai pioneered exactly two things: Jack and squat.
*The Financial Samurai’s advice regarding the 4% Rule is to not have a rule and just trust your gut and take however much you think you should take in that year.