There are so many factors involved. It not only depends on the accuracy of YOUR GPS but the hider's as well. Also, were they standing right on the spot when they took the reading? How many coords did they take before they averaged them out? Also, is it possible that it was a puzzle cache which often do not give their true coords? Generally with my GPS (which is a couple of years old) we start looking once we are within 20-30 feet or so. Sometimes we luck out and find the cache pretty much "at ground 0" but it is actually quite rare for us. Hints can be very helpful but also make sure you look over past logs as well because SOMETIMES that gives more clues than the actual hints do. Sometimes even the name of the cache can tell you something. I always recommend starting with relatively easy caches and careful with micros unless you have LOTS of patience. Lastly, look at each and every hide as a learning experience as you may encounter similar styles of hides again in the future. Hope this helps.
"Keep on reaching for the stars. You may find that someday you can pull yourself out of the gutter."