Madeleine Schlosser needed more cash, so last year, at age 82, she sold her Paris home.

The sale terms allow Ms. Schlosser to live in her apartment until she dies. The two buyers paid her 18% of the property's market value up front, and now pay her a monthly pension. With the money, Ms. Schlosser has financed costly dental work and says she can "live more properly."

The buyers will eventually take possession of an apartment for which they paid less than the market price -- unless Ms. Schlosser lives for many more years.

Recently, such transactions have experienced a revival: As longer life spans put pressure on national pension systems, people wonder whether they'll be able to make ends meet for the rest of their lives.

Wall Street Journal