I'm not self employed yet but I am in a similar position to you, with my accountancy qualification gained in 1992 and a lot of public sector finance/management experience but now no job and a good few years till my pension.
I'm currently a carer so can't commit to another job, but I started studying the ICB syllabus in January. I thought about it for a few months, but eventually took the plunge and signed up for a "career package" with a distance-learning training provider. My plan is to take this time to go back to basics and fully refresh my basic bookkeeping knowledge so that, if I do eventually decide to set up on my own, I will have access to an ICB practice licence and all the support that appears to be available from the ICB. I'll also be confident that my skills are fully up-to-date.
I know it doesn't answer your question - I'll leave that to the people who are in a position to - but I thought it might help to know there are others out here treading a similar path!
All the best with whatever you decide.Save
Edited at 13 Mar 2017 10:43 AM GMT