I am 26 and am in a position to save heavily for retirement, but maxing out my retirement accounts seems to be too focused on retiring at 55+

I have enough extra income every month to where I want to get a very focused and disciplined plan going on saving for retirement. I have hit this weird realization though: if I were to put every penny I had toward my IRA/401k, I could put in over 20k before I reached the contribution limits. If I understand these accounts correctly, I can’t touch any of this money until around the age of 57.

So here is my question:

If I wanted to retire at the age of 45 (picked the age arbitrarily), what are some common ways people account for the “gap” between retirement and penalty-free retirement account withdrawals?

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