I’m in a similar position as you (42, three kids, looking for new career) and after a year of looking hard, my advice to you would be to suck it up until your financial responsibilities to your kids are complete.
Without industry experience, it’s going to be very, very difficult to break the 100k level off the bat. You could slide into a high level, non-managerial job that you’re over-qualified for, making $70 - 85k right now and hope in 3-5 years you’re close to making the kind of money you’re making right now.
No matter what the BLS job numbers say, this economy sucks for the white collar (non-technical) employee making $150,000+. I was looking at jobs on LinkedIn that 500+ people were applying for. It reminds me of the early 80s when you had 1000 people lining up in the middle of the night to try and get one of three spots as a baggage handler at an airport.
My advice: stay where you’re at and start focusing on building your network. If you don’t have a LinkedIn page, build one. Start contacting via LinkedIn people you know but haven’t talking to in years. See who in your network works in fields you find interesting and ask them out for coffee. Get their impressions of their industry and where they think it’s headed in the next 5-7 years. Do you have gaps in your education or resume? If so, start filling those. Then, when you see the light at the end of the financial tunnel, look to make your move.
If you really want to be a financial adviser or manuf rep, see if there’s anyone in your network who currently does that. They may know someone who is either 1) looking to retire/get out of the business, or 2) looking to bring another person on. It’s much easier to work with an existing book of business than starting anew.