Looks to me like you got out of it at the wrong time for metal detecting, and as there is no wrong time to get back in things have changed a bit. A lot more people have taken up the practice of beeping and nuggies are harder to find then before. As far as making a living from it well, it might take years to hone your skills to that degree. You might start out with a preowned detector for a while and get used to it before investing 5 or 6k. If you are at the beach start out there and ask around the forums for the advice that you might need to go farther afield.