Sticking it out until retirement is no longer the norm.

One Sacramento shoe designer is one of many Americans changing careers in the middle of their life. 49-year-old Irene Ruvalcaba is the designer.

Ruvalcaba said her first design, the Marcella, is a dream come true.

"It is just perfect," she said. "I have been planning this for so long." Each pair comes in its own beautiful box, delicately surrounded by pink paper flowers.

Ruvalcaba was raised by migrant parents who grew up in a labor camp and worked in the fields.

"They were picking cherries and I was decorating my shoes with cherries and flowers, whatever I could," she said. As she walked down the rows of the fruit, Irene would dream, "I remember saying if my shoes were pretty enough, I could walk into a better life."

She went on to be very successful. She worked for Dignity Health for over a decade.

Now, in the middle of her life, Ruvalcaba said it was time to pursue her childhood passion -- designing shoes.

"I'm not going to die saying, 'I wish I would have done it,'" she said.

Ruvalcaba isn't alone. A survey from the Institute of Economic Research found 82 percent of people transition into new careers successfully after 45.

"I feel like I'm walking into my future," Ruvalcaba said.

She said settling or waiting to retire wasn't an option and she hopes others will follow in her footsteps.

"Don't let go of that dream, start taking steps, little steps at a time and go for it, and go for it because it's worth it," she added.