First off.... Wow, most of this thread is useless (not that I'm shocked). He doesn't state specifics on finances. I would say I can't "afford" to be out of work for more than 3 months too. In reality I put a ton of money away for retirement and kids college, and could probably make it a few years without working, but with my current retirement plans, I couldn't "afford" more time that either. It really doesn't give specifics on the financials and everyone is just speculating wildly.
For the real question he asked... I switched from software to network engineering about a decade ago, because my then employer (the USMC) told me to, so there really wasn't an option. I found it interesting, and after transitioning to the private sector stayed on the networking side. While you can make that amount of money, you are starting in a new field lacking relevant experience. The 150k+ jobs are almost exclusively working in sales engineering, ISP, or a senior engineer at a very large enterprise. Even with a CCIE (which isn't exactly a small undertaking) the only position that you would likely get hired into is the sales side, the other two will likely require a large amount of work experience as well. The sales side is easier, because to be a Cisco requires certified personnel to receive "gold" and "silver" partner levels.
A couple of side notes... Outsourcing and H1-B's are every bit as prevalent for network engineers as software engineers. They may not be bringing a ton of people in for 45k cable monkey jobs, but for the gusy in the 6 figure range... You betcha.. They are all over the place. And the potential for other onshore outsourcing is possible to. Verizon, AT&T, and BT take on huge clients every day that are outsourcing their networking.
I think the best way ahead.... If networking interests you... You could stick with software and migrate toward one of the SDN platforms... Cisco ACI or VNX and hope its VHS and not Betamax... Or even worse, laserdisc and never gets adoption.