My husband and I have the same dream, we are planning on it being our retirement plan in 3 years. We sold the power boat, bought a 35' C&C 1972 and are making all the changes necessary to go offshore in the next few years. We have many more land ties, kids houses, etc. but we have set a realistic goal and i am certain we will be able to set off when we have planned. My husband had no sailing experience when we bought the boat, we have time to gain experience sailing the puget sound area and learning about the boat by fixing all that needs attention. There is lots of advice out there, do listen to the being a newby and having a broker sell you a boat, there are too many sharks out there and there are so many friendly sailboat owners with lots of experience to draw from. Reading is a great way to get the feel of some of what you will be doing, fans the flame on the long cold northwest winter days, but there is no substitute for experience, nothing can substitute for the breeze on your face,the sound of the waves on the hull, the look of 3 inches of water in the cabin after you forget to close a through hull!
Best of luck for everything you choose to do. I hope we all are able to sail our dream!