Right now, I am on my late 20's, and I have this plan on retiring at 55 years old, instead of the usual retirement age of 62. For this, I plan to save money enough to cover my expenses from the day of retirement, until I am able to get 401(k) and/or Social Security benefits. I am also planning to be debt-free (no mortgage, car, credit car or personal loans payments).
I will soon be able to start contributing to a 401k again. Although I favor these types of plans, what it always bothers me is that I cannot touch this money until I am 59.5 years, which is different from the age I want to retire. Additionally, I am seeing very difficult to save on my own for retirement AND putting money away on a 401(k).
I know that 401(k) plans offers the employer pairing and the investment options, but how I am seeing it is that this comes at a price of basically being unable to use the money when I actually want to retire (at age 55).
My question is: Should I still use the 401(k), and maybe rethink my plans, or should I abstain from putting money on a 401(k), and save money by myself for retirement (with the benefit of being able to use the money at the age I want to retire)? Is there is something that I am missing on my picture?