By early retirement I'm referring to those who say they retire in their 30's or early 40's and not the "freedom 55ers". I tried dropping out of the work force in my early fourties and getting by with a frugal lifestyle. We were paying the bills but we found the lifestyle to be a little more difficult than we imagined. It can be difficult not to feel deprived when being frugal is a necessity rather than a lifestyle choice.
Anyway, it seems as though when you dig a little deeper into any of the so called successful early-retirement stories, they either work part time, sell books, become farmers or depend on their spouses income. It may be an inspirational example of doing what you want with your life but is that really retirement? Is anyone doing it with no income other than investments?