I looked into inflation adjusted annuities a while back. My interest started after reading this:
When I looked into it, I could only find a few companies offering an inflation adjusted annuity. I think the minimum age was 40 or 45. I'm not there yet, so I didn't get too far down the road.
In my state annuities are protected from creditors, and are backed by the state up to a certain amount ($250k IIRC). If we use George's numbers, you can reliably get 3% plus CPI-U, or 5% without the CPI adjustment, guaranteed by the state, and protected from creditors, with essentially zero effort on your part. People always say "you can do better", and I think they only mean that you can earn a better return, because I think it is incredibly hard for the individual investor to earn more than 5% each and every year, fully protected from creditors, backed by the state, with no effort. Protecting and guaranteeing assets and returns is expensive.
I don't think any sane, smart investor would ever consider putting all of his money into annuities. So the common argument about having all of your money tied up is useless. Many companies offer the ability to withdraw a residual ammount from the annuity. So, if you put your $100k into an annuity and two days later your house is washed away and you want the $100k back, you can actually reverse the situation. There are penalties and fees, so you don't get the whole $100k back, but you aren't without options. I suspect the longer you've held the annuity, the smaller the residual becomes. Also, consider that it might not be hard to get a loan secured by an annuity payment-- I don't know this, I've never tried, but why not?
In response to JohnnyH's rules, and christie's advertisement and redundant comment, realize that you can buy annuities in other currencies, Swiss Francs if you like.