First, ignore the people who just want to shit all over you for making more money than them. They don't know anything about your situation and aren't qualified to comment. Savings and cash flow are two entirely different things, as I'm sure you know.
I've been in networking for about 20 years. I don't have a CCIE, but I've passed the written three times and sat for the lab once (I took a sales path instead). I have intimate knowledge of CCIE compensation. Starting level for a CCIE is around $135K, depending on where you live and what exactly you're doing. I believe there are salary surveys published every few years on this topic.
You will absolutely need extensive experience to become a network architect, though. The certifications would not be enough. Obtaining a CCIE is strenuous and would most likely require those years of experience anyway. You can do it, but it will take time and you will take a pay cut while you build your portfolio. Be aware, though, that networking is not immune to the outsourcing issues you're seeing in software.
As career changes go, networking is not a bad choice, but it won't be an immediate lateral move in terms of comp.