First things first...where would you like to live, and what is your budget?
The area where you want to live, have you visited this during the different seasons, ie the summer season is VERY different to ie the winter season!
There are different things you could do to keep your nose above water...you could teach English as a foreign language?If you are an arty farty person, you might be able to teach this/these, but you need to know 'your' area very first of all!
Would you want to do gite, self-catering business and/or make a B&B? With regards to the last possibilities (we have a small B&B in Provence) you need to be close to amenities, motorway, airport, train station, as that way you will get more bookings, but there is no guarantee, never mind how wonderful your place is, and then not be afraid of hard work of course!
You need your finances to be OK. Could you keep your property, which I would always suggest, certainly in the first place, and rent this out!
Also, if you are not sure where to be, or you just happen to like an area, rent first, that way you can explore, and if you are not happy in the area, move on until you find 'the' place! This took us several years, sooo many visits, nearly gave up and that despite we have already had a place here for years and knew our area very well, and knew this was definitely the area we wanted to stay! However, the last step to say goodbye was a major step ie to give up work, selling our house, and buying something smaller (to be able to finance France) and all happened at the very same time (it was tough to put it mildly - and my husband is still working in London to 'keep me in the lifestyle I have become accustomed to' he says, and he will not retire until I stop spending money ie until we have renovated and done what needs to be done to our old house) and there is something that needs fixing all the time, trust me, and it costs money, but absolutely no regrets, we absolutely love our lovely old house!
Hope I have not ruined your dream, as it would be sad that you on your old days sat down and said if only...if only, then it's too late...so bon courage as they say...and if you move this way ie Provence, let me know, I will be happy to point you in the right direction wherever I can, and if nothing else, you can always come by for a glass of the local rose! :)