One thing not discussed very much in this thread: the question in the title. That is, how do you assess the risk?
You can get an 8% cash on cash return net of all expenses, management, etc.? Okay.
That's an average, and doesn't take into account some years will be good, some will be much worse (as multiple repairs, vacancies, etc. hit at the same time), i.e. variance.
How about geographic risk? If all of your properties are in the same geographic area, what happens if that area declines? Your rents decline even while inflation is increasing your expenses.
There are other things to consider beyond "I can get 8%, so I can retire on 375k of real estate to get 30k annually for life."
This thread seemed to split into replies that consist of "I don't do real estate for reasons X, Y, and Z" or "I do real estate, it's part of my FIRE plan," but with not much discussion of the nuances - just simple yes or nos.
Hopefully some will chime in with other considerations not yet brought up.
(Disclaimer: real estate is the vast majority of my portfolio, and I anticipate 100% of my FIRE income to come from rents, with my equity holdings to just sit and compound.)