"Invest the difference in dividend paying stocks until you no longer have to work". That is exactly what I have been trying to do for the last 5 years, however, thanks to BS stocks like PFE, BAC, GE, ADVDX, the dividends got slashed, and hampered my strategy. The trick is to find dividend paying stocks that won't slash their dividend when the going gets tough.
I'm one of the lucky ones. Although having been laid off almost ten years ago with nearly twenty years to go until retirement at that time, I had enough of a next egg in a 401K plan to switch over to a brokerage IRA account and invest in higher yield dividend stocks. I haven't worked since I was laid off.
Having always lived within my means, not acquiring excessive debt nor taking out any second mortgages, I have been able to pay off my house mortgage early and have no debt. With about $46K a year in dividends coming in from my stocks, I can reinvest about $15K a year and still live fairly well off the remainder. The $15K a year reinvested into additional higher yield dividend stocks will hopefully increase my dividend income every year.
You got it right. I live the same way and retired volentarily at 41, beating my plan by 4 years. I tell people, this isn't complicated, it's like a diet, just eat less and exercise more. Not complicated but it seems difficult for most.
Of course, I had to give up my desire for a private jet.
I'd wish you good luck but you seem to have made your own. Good luck any way.